NIBM Wild Cats won the Cup Championship final beating the much fancied Kotalawela Defence University Rifles 7 nil after the scheduled 15 minutes when the scores were deadlocked at 13-all in the EFLI - Lanka Inter University Flag Football Tournament organised by EFLI-Sri Lanka and sponsored by the South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd., at the CR and FC grounds on Saturday 27and Sunday 28.
The EFLI - Sri Lanka Inter University Flag Football Tournament organized by EFLI - Sri Lanka and sponsored by the South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd,
The Cup finals went in to extra time with the scores been deadlocked at 13 all at full time. The game then went in to 3 minutes extra time with sudden death and in the 2nd minute of the extra time NIBM touched down which gave them the victory by 19 points to 13.
This tournament was an introduction to Flag football and American Football which is a solo effort by former IRB coach, Dilroy Fernando in an effort to popularize the game here in Sri Lanka.
Just previous to the final there was an exhibition match between the staff of the American Embassy and the Colombo Lions which the local boys won comfortably 14-7. The Exhibition game was a big hit as it had many of the Colombo Lions players like Andrew Siriwardena, and National Rugby star Shenal Dias doing some excellent runs against the Experienced US Embassy invitation team.
The Chief Guest Erwin Haaze - CEO - SAGT handed over the coveted winner's trophy to the Cup Champions NIMB Wild Cats Captain watched by the tournament livewire Dilroy Fernando - Director EFLI.
Footballs to all participating University teams were handed over by Ted Muttiah, COO, South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd.
Dilroy Fernando, on behalf of the organizers thanked the co-sponsors Agoal International (Pvt ) Ltd, Sports Today and Coca Cola for coming on board.
JAFFNA WARRIORS WIN BOWL TITLE
Earlier in the afternoon, IIT Panthers beat NIBM Bees 18-7, to clinch the Shield title, and in the Bowl final Jaffna Warriors beat the exuberant bunch of young Pakistanis, who danced their way to the final, by 6 nil. The Jaffna boys fielded two teams and were totally wound up and displayed some exhilarating Flag football against teams who were much bigger in stature. Some teams fielded ex - rugby players with some scintillating moves.
The Jaffna team captain said that it was the first time that they had come to Colombo or this Great City as he called it, and they were very happy to have won the trophy. ‘We hope to bring in many more new teams in the future,’ he added.
IT DRAGONS WIN PLATE TITLE
In the Plate championship IIT 'Dragons' stormed their way to win the final by defeating NSBM ‘Storms’ by the narrow margin of 1 point (7-6).
Earlier in the day in the Cup quarter finals, KDU Colts beat Rajarata Bulls 20-6, NSBM Storms lost to KDU Rifles 19-7, Jaffna Eagles beat IIT Griffins, 19-6. and NIBM Wildcats beat IIT Dragons.
In the Bowl semis, the University of Sarghodya beat the BSM Tornadoes and Jaffna Warriors beat NSBM Thunders.
In the plate semis NSBM beat Rajarata Bulls 14-12, and IIT A beat IIT B 25-7.
In the Cup semis, KDU Colts beat KDU Rifles and NIBM Wildcats beat Jaffna Eagles.
On day one, 24 games were played in an extremely well conducted tournament. NIBM Bees drew with University of Sarghado, KDU beat Jaffna Eagles 6 nil, Peshawar beat BMS Tornadoes 6 nil, NSBM beat IIT Dragons 18/6, IIT Griffins beat Rajarata Bulls 24/18, and in some of the other interesting games, NSBM storms beat BMS Tornadoes 21/13.
After lunch there were two 13 nil wins when KDU C beat IIT Griffins, and NIBM wildcats who beat KDU Rifles. Jaffna Warriors had a big 27-7 win over IIT Panthers and Rajarata had a similar margin of victory when they beat KDU C 20/nil, and NIBM Wildcats beat IIT Panthers 26 nil.
US EMBASSY’S STEVE PRITCHARD ELABORATES
Deputy Director of Information of the American Embassy, Steve Pritchard, speaking to the Sports Today, said that Flag Football is different to rugby and the five on five game is what was played here. “They do different variations five on five, seven on seven and sometimes the full eleven on eleven. On the five on five version they play without the front alignment, and it makes it a lot more fast paced, and it’s more offence based.
Q: How many reserves can you have?
A: I don’t think it really matters. They can replace them when they get injured or when the balls stops. You can’t swop out during live play, but once the snapper gets the ball you can’t swop players.
Q: How long is the game?
A: Traditionally its two 20 minutes sessions, but here it’s just 15 minutes , I think just to speed up the game a little bit. You can forward pass and backwards and laterally pass. What we have is called the 'line of scrimmage'. The line of scrimmage is where the two teams meet ad the quarter back cannot throw forward behind the line of scrimmage. But you can throw laterally. This is flag football. There is no tackling. Once the ball hits the ground it’s dead, you can’t pick it up unlike in rugby.
The EFLI was founded in mid-2011 and publicly announced on August 5, 2011. The aim of the league is to introduce American football to the Indian market and its large consumer base.