Maurice led Kandy SC to victory in 1992 Clifford Cup final | Daily News

Maurice led Kandy SC to victory in 1992 Clifford Cup final

Maurice Joachim
Maurice Joachim

Maurice Joachim led Kandy SC to victory in the 1992 Clifford Cup final by beating Police 22-9, That year Kandy SC team came up to the semi finals under the leadership of Ananda Kasthuriarachchi who led the side in the A Division league to take the second place. In the knockouts the Kandy SC authorities tried to bring in two new players, who had not come for practices, Ananda Kasthuriarachichi a Kingswoodian had said how can they be included without attending practices, But the then president late Dr.Sarath Kapuwatte, had overuled him and decided to‘rest him’, from the cup final which paved the way for Maurice to lead them in the knockout final. Maurice had said, it is not done, how can I lead, but the Kandy SC President had said we have decided to, do so.

Kandy SC first entered the cup final in 1954, the side was led by S.B.Pilapitiya and went down to CR and FC, Then in 1955 Jeff MacPerson led the side and this time too went down to CR and FC. The next final was in 1969 under the captaincy of Denzil Kobbekaduwa that too they lost to CR and FC 6-12 Then in 1978 under Irwin Howie lost to Havelock SC by 4-10 in the Cup final.

It was Maurice who had played 102 games, who led the club to win the first cup. That was history for Kandy Sports Club rugby. Maurice, as he is known by his friends, was one of the top three quarters to come out of the Katugastota school. At school he was coached by two top ruggerites Kalu Perera, a well known figure in the coaching arena and Ajith Fernando.

Soon after the schools season, Nihal Viper Gunaratne., dragged him to Kandy Sports Club and Maurice got the ‘break’ to lead the Kandy SC in 1988 and 1989. Maurice played for the Nittawela Club from1985 to 1993. When he led them to win the Clifford Cup in 1992, he was coached by Alex Lazarus and the players who were his team mates were - L.V. Ekanayake, Shyam Sideek, Kitti Ratudrada Priyantha Ekanayake, Palitha Wijesuriya, Edward Wijesuriya, Leroy Fonseka, K.Ratnayake, Indrajith Bandaranayake, Imthi Marikar, Bati Penaia, Saman Kotelawala,Kapila Samarakoon, Pubudu Fernando, Jayson Gauthrie, Rizvi Suhaib, Sabri Razak.

Maurice helped Kandy Sports Club rugby in a big way, and also he made valuable contribution to improve rugby in Kandy. During his playing days, he was one of the best three quarters and he was marked at every game, if he got the ball, he was sure to begin a good move. He was famous for his scissor passes and dummies. and his long strides made it difficult for the opponents to bring him down. He was one of the finest ruggerites who donned the Kandy SC jersey.