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24th June 2001
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Golf at the Ridgeways

Pin adorned the scene
United Tractor and Equipment Co. Ltd. the preserve of the Fernando family comes alive again to give golf a lift and quite naturally this is expected from a Company that was skillfully managed by the Golfing Maestro Pin Fernando and now taken over and chaired by his illustrious son Priya Fernando. 

Pin adorned the golf scene for years and years and those who knew him like I did will endorse the view that apart from his immense skills at golf he was a smart entrepreneur and as smart a gentleman. 

The Pin Fernando Trophy Golf Competition takes off on the 14th July at the Ridgeways of the Royal Colombo Golf Club with United Tractor Ltd. of Caterpillar fame strongly behind the sponsorship. 

This extremely popular competition was inaugurated in 1979, the Centenary year of the Royal Colombo Golf Club. 

Calcutta Medal
There were some terrific performances last week, the best of which was the Calcutta Medal tussle between Major General S.V. Jayakody and Surgeon Dr. Narendra Wijemanne that large size man. Jayakody struck 84-17 nett 67 and so did Wijemanne 85-18 nett 67 but Jayakody had a better back nine to deprive Wijemanne of the Medal. 

Both these senior players have been playing good golf in the recent past and were amply rewarded with praiseworthy scores which gave them that semi permanent gleeful smile we all noticed. 

On Sunday the scene was as good or better with some stunning scores going into the records. Sarath Karunaratne was the best with a terrific gross 84-nett 66 score which was the lowest and unmatchable. Rohan Perera & Rathven de Livera tied with nett 68 each. 

Rohan went 86-18=68 nett and Rathven went 83-15=68 nett. Great scores by any standard under trying conditions, oppressive weather and grounds under repairs. Rathven's performance was exceptional considering that he is comparatively new to the game and playing off 15. He must know that the Handicap Committee will pounce on him first and then they will catch up with Jayakody, Wijemanne, Karunaratne & Perera. 

Disaster area
Nimal Weeraratne was outstanding with a huge 118 - a well played ton. Those who contributed to the massive bag of confetti were J.J. Ambani, Shelton Jayasinghe, Roger Bakelman and Sugath Weeraratne. 

The Competitions to follow will be the Victoria Cup for the best aggregate through the 1st & 3rd rounds. The next competition will be for the Squadron Cup enveloping the best nett aggregate over 4 rounds - 2 weekends and finally the most prestigious event for the Gold Medal will involve the best gross scores over 4 consecutive rounds. 

Honda Sponsorship 
The Southwest Monsoon Meet is being sponsored by Honda. The image incessantly projected by Wasantha de Silva also known as "HERO". They were exceptionally lavish last year and this year the plans are heaps more lavish. Honda will offer a special trophy for one round of stroke play competition on the last day of play. 
Pin the Cricketer
At Royal College and just after Pin Fernando kept wickets and bashed the ball a bit with his bat, I remember him playing for the INCOGS during World War II. 

Now Incogs, a Cosmopolitan or Nondescript Club of young enthusiasts was led by Vernon Prins and the Club was sponsored by S.P. "Bamboo" Foenander, the celebrated Sports writer. They were gypsies with no Club House, pavillion or ground but Prof. Mars, Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University who was quite rabid about cricket extended assistance giving them the use of the Varsity grounds and pavilion as often as possible. 

On one such occasion the Colombo Colts Cricket Club played INCOGS and that was quite memorable as it was to be my first contact with Pin Fernando, the golfing prodigy. A young man with a happy disposition he walked up to the crease swinging his bat, took his guard, chalk marked middle and leg and his next movement was the flash of his bat and I was sent through the covers. 

The next ball was "middle for diddle" as they say in darts and Pin was walking back to the pavilion damning me in the softest tone possible. My next victim was pint sized Richard Fernando who was captured before he was mentally settled. His leg stump went cart wheeling up to the wicket keeper Douglas Lieversz who was many metres away. I remember Hugh Perumal & Fairlie Dalpathado coming in with a rescue operation after which Vernon Prins played an excellent innings. Pin Fernando kept wickets skillfully though even then a fat boy. 


Mini-rugby to encourage the sport in rural schools 

By Bernie Wijesekera 
Kandy S.C., one of the mainsprings in promoting and encouraging this beautiful sport in the Hill Capital has decided to organise a Mini -rugby programme in collaboration with that well-known coach, George Simpkin, who is no stranger to Lankan rugby. 

It will commence on July one, starting at 9 a.m to 10.30 am. and will continue on every Sunday at the Nittawela grounds. 

Dr. Garath Kapuwatte, the President of K.S.C. told The Sunday Times its aim was to inject enthusiasm among the rural schools who can ill-afford to join the scrum due to limited resources. At present the game is confined to a selected lot in the district. Kids over five and under 12 are eligible to join this coaching and training programme. Today in the rural districts that talent could be harnessed for the future betterment of this sport. In whatever sport there is hidden talent aplenty, Dr. Rapuwatte added. 

He was confident also of getting supoort from the sporting Minister of Sports, Lakshman Kirielle, who is keen in promoting rugby in the district. 

Former Police S.C., Kandy S.C.and Sri Lanka stalwart Hemantha Yatawara is the chairman of the organising committee. Yatawara said it wil not only encourage the kids to indulge in rugby, but will also activate the parents, too to be a part of this programme. They could see for themselves the coaching and later continue to train their children. 

Parents could join in a workout at the Gym. More than instilling the skills they will be taught the ethics and the spirit of the game in their very first leason. More than the outcome to learn to shake hands with their opponents and always adhere to the rules of the game and to respect the referees' decisions at all times. 

This is on the wane in some quarters these days. 

Arjun Dhamarmadasa, the Chairman of the Rugby Union's development committee, commended Kandy S.C.and the Central Prov. R.F.U. for embarking on this mini-rubgby programme which will stand in good stead for the promotion and for the future of the sport which is fast catching up among the rural schools. Its a boost for the sport in the district. Coaches from Trinity College have been recruited. Their programme is being handled by Simpkin. This programme will not be confined to boys alone and is open to girls, too. Past students from girls' schools in Kandy will be trained to handle this section. 

The following sponsors have decided to support it:, Singer (Sri Lanka) Ltd., Pepsi, Textrend Ltd., a leading knit fabric supplier. Interest is shown by Milo, T.N.T., and Kandy District's schools to help this mini-programme. 


Mercantile Chess in the offing

The Mercantile Chess Association will be holding a chess tournament on 14 and 15 July. The tournament is sponsored by Union Assurance Ltd. and will be held at the Union Assurance auditorium.

Although the game of chess has been widely acknowledged as being one of the world's most intellectual sports, few opportunities were provided until recently to chess players to practise their skills and pit their wits against each other at tournaments and training camps. The setting up of the Mercantile Chess Association met this long-felt need, and it is gratifying that this game is now increasing in popularity even among Sri Lankan schoolchildren in rural areas.

The MCA was set up in late 1997 under the patronage of UAL, with UAL's former CEO Hydery Rehmanjee appointed as the Association's first Patron. In 1998, the MCA organized a training camp for the mercantile sector at the University of Colombo, at which its 250 participants were awarded certificates. In 1999, the MCA organized a tournament of 13 member organizations for individuals and teams, at which the winners were awarded trophies and certificates, with Union Assurance emerging the overall winner. 

"We are very pleased to have been associated with the Mercantile Chess Association since its inception, whose concerted efforts in popularising the game of chess in the rural areas is indeed laudable. The value of chess as a strategy for training and fine-tuning the mind is undisputable, and we will continue to give this sport our every support," declared the Association's new Patron Sarath Wikramanayake.

''We view our mission as an effective programme in developing the adult mind", says Ramal Jayasinghe, President of the Mercantile Chess Association. As such the Mercantile Chess Association has planned a series of coaching clinics and tournaments coordinated by its dynamic Secretary, Suneetha Wijesuriya, the undisputed women's Chess Champion for 10 years, and Chess Olympiad Gold Medallist. She is in the forefront in developing the game in Sri Lanka.

In order to avail those in the Mercantile Sector with a golden opportunity, Wijesuriya has as part of an aggressive membership drive, very kindly agreed to conduct coaching camps free of charge. Those companies that are interested in joining the Mercantile Chess Association could contact Mrs. Suneetha Wijesuriya on her mobile phone No. 071-726210 or at the Chess Association at 22/1, Megoda Kolonnawa, Wellampitiya.


Clubhouse for Kandy YCC at Bogambara

Kandy Youth C.C. who scrummed down for the first time in the 'A' league rugby are in luck's way. They have been promised a clubhouse at the Bogambara Stadium, by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Lakshman Kiriella according to the President of the Central Province R.F.U. Maurice Perera. 

Perera who was instrumental in getting KYCC to play rugby in the 'A' Div. told The Sunday Times, that they had meaningful discussions with the Minister for the promotion of the sport in the Hill Capital. Kiriella, wanted rugby to be promoted in a big way in the province with so many schools have taken to this sport. 

In the past the game was confined to a few schools only. It was Minister Kiriella who gave the go ahead for KYCC to indulge in 'A' Div. rugby.

Perera said that today young talent is flowing out from Kandy schools like the Mahaweli waters, but have no opportunity of continuing the sport.

The Minister wanted another club to be promoted in Kandy to play in competitive rugby next year.

He even wanted the CPRFU to take the sport to the Wanni. We have already making avenues toward this end. 

It's here that the strongly built youth could be harnessed for the future of this sport.

Maurice was making these comments, whilst watching the Kandy SC-Army rugby match at Nittawela. 

Perera, further stated that the Minister has given permanent employment to six talented players from KYCC.

Employment is a crying need to keep the talented players in the district to play for Kandy clubs. He is making inroads for more job opportunites for the young sportsmen. He wanted the CPRFU to be on par or even better than the Western Province RFU with regard to the promotion of the game with more new clubs, giving the youth to indulge in competitive rugby. The only club, who have taken to play in the top div. from WPRFU are the Old Zahrians. 

They too need support and encouragement with men and material. This was confirmed by their coach Ibrahim Hamid. Petersons SC played in the past, but had to put down its shutters, for reasons best known to them. 

It's here that the controlling body must cut unwanted frills with less talking and get their act-together with professional skills for the future betterment of rugby. BW


Sponsorship for Havies

Three Coins (McCallum Breweries) and Ole Springs have joined the scrum to spur Havelocks S.C. with a long-term sponsorship package.

This was revealed by Michael Jayasekera, the President of the club to The Sunday Times at a media briefing.

Jayasekera said, "its a source of encouragement for the club and to boost the morale of the players that two leading brewing specialists, McCallum Breweries - Three Coins and soft drinks maker Ole Springs have teamed up to spur the Park Club to greater heights.

The Havies are bound to run the ball to the echo of 'Go Havies, Go' in the ongoing season. 

Havies, one of the oldest clubs having a great tradition in the past in producing some outstanding players have done proud for the club. It's not only winning trophies, but Havies at all times have sustained the spirit of the game. We will continue to maintain this rhythm at all times", Jayasekera added.

He commended that Three Coins player of the Month awards - two cash awards during the season for two outstanding players from a panel picked by the club. They will not be picked purely on performance, on the field plus commitment all round, team spirit, on and off behaviour, and leadership etc. 

With a young talented squad Havies have done reasonably well in the under-24, 15-a-side, U-24 "sevens" and the inter-club 'A' div. sevens. The club look forward to be in the forefront in the ongoing season with the support rendered by the joint sponsors.

The needy players will stand to benefit. Besides plans are afoot to give a new look to the 42-year-old clubhouse with more facilities to the membership with the assistance given by the sponsors. BW


Australia overpower Pakistan in Lord's final

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Australia overpowered Pakistan by nine wickets in the triangular series final at Lord's on Saturday, with irresistible out-cricket to set up their victory and an unbeaten 76 from Adam Gilchrist to seal it.

Needing 153 to win in excellent batting conditions, Australia reached their target in 26.3 overs as wicketkeeper-batsmen Gilchrist led the way by hitting his third consecutive half-century of the competition.

Left-hander Gilchrist, who made his runs from 93 balls, shared an opening stand of 78 with Mark Waugh, who was run out for 36 before Ricky Ponting (35 not out) helped to complete the rout that mirrored their 1999 World Cup triumph over Pakistan at the same ground.

Pakistan, who won the toss, were dismissed for 152 in 42.3 overs after being shackled so effectively that their highest individual score was opener Saeed Anwar's 27. Pace bowlers Glenn McGrath, who took one for 28 in his 10 overs, Brett Lee, with two for 20 in eight, and Ian Harvey, who had two for 18, held the Pakistanis in check.

Shane Warne, with three wickets and two catches, ensured their grip was never loosened.

Scoreboard 

Pakistan

Saeed Anwar c Bevan b Harvey 27

Saleem Elahi c Gilchrist b McGrath 0

Yousef Youhana run out 11

Inzamam-ul-Haq lbw b Warne 23

Younis Khan c Warne b Lee 0

Abdur Razzaq c Warne b Lee 24

Rashid Latif b Warne 23

Azhar Mahmood b Warne 1

Wasim Akram b Gillespie 17

Waqar Younis lbw b Harvey 0

Saqlain Mushtaq not out 0

Extras (b-2 lb-3 w-8 nb-3) 16

Total (all out, 42.3 overs) 152

Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-47, 3-60, 4-60, 5-92, 6-102, 7-110, 8-151, 9-152, 10-152.

Bowling: McGrath 10-2-28-1, Gillespie 7-1-25-1, Harvey 7.3-0-18-2, Lee 8-1-20-2, Warne 10-0-56-3

Australia

A.Gilchrist not out 76

M.Waugh run out 36

R.Ponting not out 35

Extras (lb-1 w-8) 9

Total (for one wicket, 26.3 overs) 56

Fall of wickets: 1-78

Did not bat: M.Bevan, S.Waugh, D.Martyn, I.Harvey, S.Warne, B.Lee, J.Gillespie, G.McGrath

Bowling: Wasim Akram 7-0-15-0, Waqar Younis 5-0-32-0,

Saqlain Mushtaq 8-0-50-0, Abdur Razzaq 5-0-40-0, Azhar Mahmood 1.3-0-18-0


Lions beat Waratahs in violent clash

SYDNEY, June 23 (Reuters) - The British and Irish Lions bounced back from their defeat by Australia A with a 41-24 win over the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday in a match marred by violence.

The Lions ran in five tries to four in a dress rehearsal for next week's first test with the Wallabies after their midweek team had crashed to an unexpected loss to Australia's second-string team on Tuesday.

Former rugby league international Jason Robinson scored twice while Brian O'Driscoll, Jonny Wilkinson and Dafydd James also crossed for tries for the Lions.

Stu Pinkerton, Francis Cullimore, Sam Harris and Manuel Edmonds scored tries for the Waratahs but the result was largely overshadowed by the violence.

NSW fullback Duncan McRae was sent off for punching while another five players Tom Bowman, Brendon Cannon and Cameron Blades from NSW and Lions pair Phil Vickery and Danny Grewcock were all sin-binned for foul play. Bowman was shown the yellow card after just four seconds when he struck Grewcock with a forearm from the kickoff but it wasn't until the second half that the match exploded.


Kumara champion high jumper

By Bruce Maurice
W.P. Manjula Kumara of Vijitha Central College proved in no uncertain terms that he is the champion high jumper, when he beat the national record holder another schoolboy Rangana Pigera of Nalanda at the Junior Athletic Nationals on the penultimate day at the Sugathadasa Stadium. 

Pigera was beaten by Kumara at the first SAF games trial, but yesterday Kumara erased Pigera's record of 2.05 metres, sailing over the bar at 2.06 metres.

The other records belonged to Oshan Ranjit Perera in the boys under Discus Throw, Irosha Ranawickrema in the girls' under 16, 200 Metres, T. Rajan Trincomalee DAA in the boys' under 16, 200 metres, Perera in the boys' under 20, 200 metres and Pushpa Kumara in the under 18 boys' 800 metres. 

Three runners Lasitha Silva of Ananda, M.S.M. Safran of Zahira, Walapitiya and P.P. Srilal of Anuradhapura Central broke the boys' under 18, 200 metres record, clocking 22.5, 22.7 and 22.8 respectively while the old record stood at 22.86. Today is the final day of the meet.

Defence Services win 
At the 29th Junior Hockey National Championships that were continued at Matara yesterday, Defence Services beat Matara HA by seven 7 to nil. K.S. Perera, K.A. Perera and W.Piyashantha netted two goals each, while M. Piyapala sounded the boards once for the victors. 

Wennappuwa had an easy win by six goals to nil over Kandy HA. For the winners, S. Damith, R. Suranga, G. Suranga, S. Chanaka, S. Perera and M. Iresh netted a goal each. Matale HA had the better of Galle HA by scoring four goals to their one goal. 

For Matale, N. Mustaq scored two, while K.S. Ratnayaka and D.T. Panditharatne banged in one goal. For the loser's L.L. Chamara scored the solitary goal. Schools (Golds) trounced Kandy HA three nil. T.Geeganage one goal and S. Hettiarachi two goals scored for the schoolboys. In the last match for the day, Mercantile HA defeated Colombo HA by two goals to nil. M. De Alwis and D. Peiris scored a goal each. 

- B.M. 


Briefly

Pelicans through to semi-finals
Pelicans SC, Kurunegala booked their berth into the semi-finals of The Traveller Invitation 2001 conducted by the Gampola Football League when they beat Municipal Sports Club, Kandy by 2 goals to 1 at the Weegulawatta ground, at Gampola. Pelicans led 1 nil at the half time.

M. Ishaq and M. Sathar scored a goal each for Pelicans while N. Rodrigo scored the losers goal.

Thus Pelicans qualified to meet the winners of Red Sun SC/Young Birds SC on Saturday June 30th. In the other quarter-final, Grand Hotel SC beat Hyline SC in a penalty shoot-out after their scores were deadlocked at 3-all at full time, being 1-all at the half time. Nanayakkara 2 and W. Bandara scored for Grand Hotel, while Shashi 2 and Ranasinghe scored for Hyline SC.

Grand Hotel will meet the winners of Manchester SC/Victory SC in the semi-finals on Sunday July 1st.

Sri Lanka Basketball Federation invited to three foreign tournaments 
The Sri Lanka Basketball Federation has received three invitations to participate in three foreign tournaments to be held this year.

The first is for the Asian region championships to be hosted by the Hongkong Basketball Association where seven countries will participate in August.

The second will be for men and women in the Indian South Zone cager championships in Andra Pradesh in September conducted by the Andra Pradesh Basketball Association. 

The third will be the Under-19 Asian Basketball Confederation championships to be held in Bangkok in October.

In order to pick the national pools the Federation will conduct trials to be held on Saturday June 23 at the St. Joseph's Girls School, Nugegoda at 4.30 p.m.

Matara make their debut 
New affiliates Matara will organise this year's nationals on behalf of the Hockey Federation of Sri Lanka.

The champions will be awarded the Dr. W.R. Chanmugam Challenge Trophy the runner-up the G.S.W. Forbes Challenge Trophy and the third placed team the T.M.N. Mahmooth Challenge Trophy.

The teams participating and their groupings are: Group A - Defence Services, Schools (Golds), Galle, Matara, Uva. 

Group B - Matale, Mercantile, Schools (Maroons), Wennappuwa, Colombo, Kandy.

The defending champions, Defence Services will meet the Schools (Golds) team in the first match while, Matale the runners-up will take on Mercantile in the second match for the day.

Basketball bounces high 

Basketball players who have been starving for inter-club tournaments will be happy when the Amateur Basketball Federation of Sri Lanka & Colombo District Basketball Association starts the second round matches in the home & away inter-club tournament immediately after the Old Sebastians interclub tournament, said Mark Fernando, President CDBA & Ramblers Basketball Club.

Mark further said that this tournament will be played for nearly one month. Nineteen men's teams and six women's teams have been playing in the first round matches which were stopped to allow the other associatons to conduct their inter club invitation tournaments.

The grouping will be the same but we will be calling for new entry forms as most of the players have either changed employment and/or residence said Mark.

Men: Group "A" - Airport Aviation Services, Police, Old Wesleytes & National Youth Services Council.

Group "B" - Hatton National Bank, Kochchikade, Dehiwala, Old Bens, & Garudas. 

Group "C" - British School of Colombo, Moratuwa, Lions, Wattala & Lasallians.

Group "D" - David Pieris, Air Force, Army, Air Lanka & Old Peterites.

Women: Ramblers, David Pieris, National Youth Services Council, Shepherdians, Air Force and Airport Aviation Services.

The final round will be between Winner of Grp "A" Vs Runner-Up of Grp "C" Winner of Grp "B" Vs Runner-Up of Grp "D", Winner of Grp "C" Vs Runner-Up of Grp "A", Winner of Grp "D" Vs Runner-Up of Grp "B".

Semi finals will be between the winners of the above matches said Mark.

Referees will be from the ABF who have earned high respect from the players and the coaches for their neutral stand in the matches refereed.

West Indies Women's tour confirmed
The West Indies tour to Sri Lanka has been confirmed by the Women's Cricket Association of Sri Lanka.

They are due to play from January 4-18, 2002 and will be arriving Sri Lanka towards the end of December. They will play 3 One-Day International and one five-day Test. They will leave for Pakistan immediately for a tour of two weeks. 

However, Pakistan's women's Cricket President, Shaiza Khan has made a request to WCASL President, Gwen Herat, to play their series too in Sri Lanka and make it a triangular series.

'Though it is a great idea to play a triangular and display women's international cricket to Sri Lankans, the possibility is very bleak' said Herat because of sponsorship. We shall need a tidy one million to host two teams along with other expenses. Of course, if we find the resources, then Pakistanis too can come down. She also hinted at the idea of asking the 1997 World Cup Captain, Vanessa Bown to coach the girls for the series, supervised by Susilogh Wijeratne. It will be a break-through for women to take up to professional coaching. West Indies were bundled out for 64 runs in '97.

Earlier the West Indies were to play in December but the tour was postponed to January as the West Indies men's team is due to play in Sri Lanka in December.

Gwen Herat will be in conversation with Eric Gauder on the West Indies tour tomorrow, Monday June 25 at 5.45 p.m. on the SLBC commercial service.

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