CH & FC were crowned overall champions (fourth in the first leg and runners-up in the second leg) and Air Force overall runners-up (third in the first leg and fourth in the second leg) in the Dialog inter-club rugby Sevens Cup championship concluded at Race course international stadium yesterday. In the second leg CR&FC under the coaching of Nilfer Ibrahim brought the championship Cup back to Longden Place after seven years when they beat formidable CH and FC ‘A’ team by 21 points (3 tries, 3 conversions) to 12 (2 tries, 1 conversion). Led by star Sri Lanka winger Kavindu Perera CR led 7-5 at half time.
CR & FC opened scoring and went into a 7-nil lead in the 5th minute of play through a brilliant 70 metre dash by national sevens player Riza Rafideen. Fly half Chanaka Chandimal made a brilliant touch line conversion.
Just seconds before the half time CH and FC scored through national sevens player Sudam Sooriarachchi who missed the conversion. CR went into half time at 7-5. After resumption, in the 9th minute of play star national player Omalka Gunaratne darted down the right flank and sent his scrum half Nalin Kumara over for a try. Chandimal slotted in the conversion to increase CR’s score to 14-5.
CR increased the score further in the 11th minute when their captain cum national winger Kavindu Perera went through the CH defence to score a try. Chandimal made the conversion and the score read 21-5 in favour of CR. Just before the final whistle CH and FC winger Anuradha Herath touched down for a brilliant try after a thundering 40 metre dash off a superb cross kick by Sudarshana Muthuthantri. Muthuthantri converted to cut down the lead to 21-12 but it was a fruitless effort.
CR’s spectacular number eight Omalka Gunaratne was adjudged the best player of the tournament. Kasun Suranga of Police SC was adjudged the highest try scorer for his total of 19 tries in the tournament. Referee Charlie Brown had an outstanding game with the whistle.
From day one CR&FC dominated play winning all their preliminary matches in style along with CH and FC, Air Force ‘A’ and Navy ‘A’.