By Roshen Steelman
Wesley College, Colombo ended Dharamaraja College’s dream run when they recorded a 22-12 victory in the semi-finals of the Milo Under-20 President’s Trophy Knock-out Rugby Championship played at Royal Sports Complex in Colombo yesterday.
Dharamaraja concluded the league tournament unbeaten and they were looking forward to sign-off by winning the President’s Trophy as well. But their hopes were shattered when Wesley did well in the crucial semi final.
Running in good shape, Wesley challenged Rajans’ defence during yesterday’s game and it looked as if Wesley were unstoppable at one stage of the first half. While the Campbell Place boys obtained their points through two goals, an unconverted try and a penalty, Rajans managed to come up with two tries and a penalty to record their ultimate score.
Dharmaraja, coming into the game after thrashing C.W.W. Kannagara College 62-8, drew first blood in the very first minute when fullback Thilina Wijesinghe touched down. But the first try of the game remained unconverted when Wijesinghe himself missed the conversion.
Wesley hit-back when vice captain Gavin Patrick scored a try to level points. Regardless of predictions Wesley came up with a strong reply when fullback Lahiru Madushanka made good run and touched down to take the lead for the first time in the match. Fly half Rahul de Silva’s boot went in the right direction as Wesley took 12-5 lead.
Both teams fought hard for the ball but finally Wesley managed to score through a try by winger Dhanushka Rajakaruna in the 33rd minute of the game. Skipper and fly half Rahul de Silva was able to add extra points and the score read 19 to five at the half way mark.
Early into the second half Wesley expanded their gap through a penalty when Rahul de Silva cleared 15 metre kick to lead 22 to five. In the dying stages of the game Rajans came up with a try and a penalty to collect their ultimate score but that was hardly enough to keep alive their dream.
Wesley will meet winners of today’s semi-final between St. Peter’s College and Trinity College in the final at the same venue on Sunday.
Wesley were the underdogs when the season began but battled successfully to remain among the top four teams of the league tournament.