Havies end 38-year wait to clinch Clifford Cup

Havelock SC skipper, Niroshan Fernando receiving the coveted Clifford Cup from Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports Harin Fernando. Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive, Dialog Axiata PLC, Thusitha Peiris, Secretary, Sri Lanka Rugby, Harsha Samaranayake, Senior General Manager – Brand and Media, Dialog Axiata PLC and Lasitha Gunaratne, President, Sri Lanka Rugby are also present.
Havelock Sports Club ended a 38-year wait when they clinched the Clifford Cup with a hard fought 40 points (4 tries, 4 conversions, 4 penalties) to 21 (3 tries, 3 conversions) win over Air Force Sports Club in their Dialog ‘A’ Division knockout rugby tournament final played at Racecourse grounds yesterday.
Havies led 21-14 half time.
Havelocks opened scoring and went into a 7-nil lead through a try scored by their nippy scrum half Mithun Hapugoda. Riza Mubarak slotted in the conversion.
In the 11th minute Air Force equalled the score to 7-all with a penalty try. Within three minutes Havies went into the lead 14-7 with a try scored by hooker Zayan Sabar. Mubarak put over the conversion.
They scored again through winger Chamara Dabare in the 19th minute and Mubarak fired across the conversion to increase their lead to 21-7. Just on the stroke of half time Air Force fly half Ishara Madushan sliced through the Havies defence to score a superb try which full back Charith Seneviratne slotted the conversion. The teams went into half time with Havelock SC leading 21-14. After resumption Havies increased their lead to 27-14 when Mubarak put over two back to back penalties. In the 58th minute the Airmen cut down the lead to 27-21 with a try scored by their second row forward Thilina Bandara. Seneviratne put over the conversion. Havelock increased their score to 34-21 with a try scored by their number eight Lasindu Ishan. Mubarak fired across the conversion again. Havies closed the game at 40-21 with two back to back penalties slotted in by Mubarak. French referee Reme Julian handled the game well.

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