Isipathana, Joes hold edge in the Milo President’s Trophy Semis

Isipathana College were made to work hard by a spirited St. Anthony’s side while St. Peter’s College upset Trinity College for the second time in the season during the Milo President’s Trophy Knockout Rugby Tournament which concluded in Sugathadasa Stadium last week.
Isipathana were overwhelming favourites to beat St. Anthony’s, but the team from Kandy produced an excellent display of rugby especially in the first half when they had taken a 15-12 lead.
The defending champions looked out of sort for most of the game, but as have done over the years, they just found a way to win the game.
Sumudu Rankothge’s side had five try scorers in the form of Randy Silva, Umesh Jayamanne, Nadeesha Chaminda, Sudeera Dissanayake, Anjana Thushan, but the two conversions from M. Ruberu turned out to be pivotal as they snatched 29-28 victory.
It was indeed a heartbreak for Antonians who had put themselves in the driver’s seat after tries from Dinesh Rodrigo, Jithen Dalugala and Dinuja Wickramaraachchi. They would feel very unfortunate to be knocked out of the tournament so early.
However, having made it to the semi-final Isipathana will look to cash-in on as they set to take on St. Peter’s College in the semi-final.
Petes started off as underdogs against much fancied Trinity side, but like in the league encounter, they came out all guns blazing and dominated one of the pre-tournament favourites in 38-24 triumph.
Captain Diyath Fernando and wing three quarter Jason Dissanayake who was once again used as a flanker bagged braced while centre Theekshana Dissanayake and prop F. Abdulla all chipped in with tries.
Centre Warren Weerakoon was one of the lone warriors for Trinity as he demonstrated his power and skills in a game he scored twice while captain Nathan Yee also contributed with a try though finishing on a losing cause.
Joes on the other hand probably had the toughest quarter-final of all having to play against a Wesley side which was in the race for the league title.
Full-back Gemunu Chethiya had a mixed day as the 19-year-old bagged a hat-trick while squandering an easy opportunity to score a try having gone past the try line. One of his tries were controversially awarded by the referee, but it looked clear that he did not have any control over the ball as he was trying to touch the ball down to score his second try. Nonetheless, his contributions were instrumental for Joes who would take on Dharmaraja in the semi-final. Rajans received a walkover in the quarter-final after Royal College pulled out of the tournament with several key players being injured.
Dharmaraja played in the plate division finishing second behind the Antonians. They would face a huge challenge from Joes in the semi-final.

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