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16th September 2001
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Sri Lanka's No. 8, Dev Wijeratne 
in a bid to stop an opponent
in their match at Bogambara
yesterday. 
Pix by Shane Seneviratne

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Rugby fascinates Ruhunu

By Bernie Wijesekera
The 'B' Div. final between Galle Rugby Club and Police 'Griffins' kicked off amid pomp and pageantry at St. Aloysius College grounds over the weekend, proved an instant success.

There was a big crowd to watch this game - a 'B' Div. final for the first time staged in a district. It was well organised by Galle Rugby Club, assisted by the Ruhuna Rugby Union. 

The new president of the Galle Rugby Club, Niranjan Withanage and rugby promoting diehard Kumar Abeywardena, the head of the Ruhuna RFU left no stone unturned. 

This was something that the Rugby Union could have not done if the game was played in Colombo. Seeing was believing. It augurs well for the future development and promotion of the game in Ruhuna. 

The chairman of Police rugby, Daya Jayasundera, Director Police Sports Lalith Lekamage and Nimal Lewke, worked the blind side for the 'Griffins' to travel to Galle. Despite a few hiccups, they did travel to Galle for the second time this season.

In the end the 'Griffins' fielding a seasoned and experienced team with former Sri Lanka stars - prop Norman Silva and playmaker Nizam Jamaldeen and few others who played a couple of games in the 'A' Div. against the youth side fielded by Galle RC. 

The strong and heavy 'Griffins' pack led by Norman Silva well supported by Jamaldeen's high ball kicks up and under and his accurate spot kicks over the crossbar proved a winning factor. 'Griffins' won 28-3. But it was still nice to witness the Galle players running the ball at every given opportunity. They lost but the game was the winner in the end, and for the future of Galle rugby.

SLRFU president Harsha Mayadunne and his deputy Ibrahim Hamid were there to watch this game and endorsed this view.

Galle Rugby Club may play in the big league next year, but they have a long way to go.

Former Sports Minister, Kiriella, who had a dialogue with the R.U. hierarchy requested them to make avenues to start a rugby club to play 'A' Div. rugby in every district.

Caltex power added much fire and sparks for this 'B' Div. league championship, too. Its deputy general manager marketing Shibly Latiff, witnessed this game and promised all help for the development of this sport countrywide.

Hoodvian Limited are the main sponsors of Galle Rugby Club affording them with men and material. Its chief executive officer Rami Wiersch, was interviewed by The Sunday Times. 

I am quite impressed with the team's performance. Playing for the first time in a Cup final they impressed me despite playing under pressure. 

My firm will continue its sponsorship package. It will also afford the lads with job opportunities, so that they could continue to play for the district club. In my opinion, they should continue to play in the 'B' Div. That's my personal observation. 

Galle Rugby Club, is also being supported by former Trinity and Sri Lanka fast bowler, Nilantha Ratnayake, who is the general manager of Hoodvian Group. 

While diminutive former Sri Lanka scrumhalf, Leroy Fonseka, is the cog-in-the wheel, giving all encouragement to the youngsters. Tony Amit has taken over the coaching.

The Mayor of Galle Mr. Premasiri, who was the chief guest has promised to help re-develop the school's ground according to Kumar Abeywardena.

The new president of the club is former CCC cricket convenor Niranjan Withanage. He is an old boy of St. Aloysius Galle. He possesses abundant experience when it comes to administration and has a good knowledge in sports where he excelled at cricket.

Navy Dreadnoughts beat Army Academy Diyatalawa in the plate final.


Even exchanges at Braybrook

By M.Shamil Amit
Exchanges were even in the Under 23 Division One cricket match between Moors SC and Saracens SC which began at Braybrook Place yesterday. Moors batting first scored 247 with leg spinner Upul Indrasiri and Chiranthana Fernando sharing five wickets each. Both have been discarded in the Under 19 squad for the forthcoming Pakistan tour. Saracens were 68 for 3 wickets at close.

Moors 247 ( Rajitha Basnayake 85, Nilam Jayman 47, Iroshan de Silva 27, Tamara Abeyratne 57 n.o; Upul Indrasiri 5 for 75, Chiranthana Fernando 5 for 70)

Saracens 68 for 3 at close ( Sajith Dilantha 35 n.o., C.Kulasinghe 13)

Panadura SC sitting pretty

In the Under 23 Division One cricket match between Negombo CC and Panadura SC which began at Kadirana. Panadura were in a strong position on 114 for 2 after having dismissed Negombo for 165.

Negombo 165 ( Damian Fernando 38, Ravi Wickremesinghe 34, Mevan Fernando 24, Kevin Anthony 27 n.o,; Amila Perera 3 for 46, Chamara Silva 2 for 8, Charitha Buddika 2 for 28)

Panadura 114 for 2 at close ( Dilruwan Perera 34 n.o., Anjula Perera 23, Pubudu Wickrema 25, Chamara Silva 12 n.o.,; Hadlee Jayawardena 2 for 28)-MSA 


SSC in strong position 

By Bruce Maurice
At the end of the first day's in the under 23 segment 'A' match between the SSC and Bloomfield, at Maitland Place, the visitors were struggling at 61 for four when stumps were drawn. This was in reply to the modest total of 232 that the SSC had posted earlier in the day. 

SSC - 232 in 69.2 (M. Fernando 19, P. Jayawawardena 35, U. Fernando 35, M. Silva 28; N. Paranavithna 27, D. Jayaweera 22 n.o., M. Aslam 22; D. Gamage 2 for 47, K. Gangodawila 2 for 30, K. Lokuarachchi 2 for 47, U. Weerasinghe 3 for 36) 

Bloomfield - 61 for 4 in 25.5 (I. Daniels 30 n.o; M. Aslam 2 for 12).

Colts sitting pretty 

A 265 run stand for the fifth wicket between Mahesh Perera (123) and Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (158) for the Colts, was the highlight of the first day's play in their Under 23 segment 'A' match against Antonians at Colts Grounds yesterday. 

Colts CC - 358 for 8 in 81.1 (M. Perera 123, M. Pushpakumara 158, K. Weeraratne 32; D. Lokuhettige 2 for 74, D. Bandara 2 for 45). 

Antonians CC - 41 for 0 (D. Bandara 27 n.o.). B.M. 

Exchanges even 

At the end of the first day's play in the Under 23 Segment 'A' fixture between BRC and Galle CC exchanges were even at Havelock Park. 

In reply to the BRC total of 310, the visitors had scored 104 for the loss of two wickets. 

BRC - 310 (C. Soyza 82, D. Perumal 36, M. Warnapura 35, T. Madanayaka 26, M . Suranga 27, C. Dharshana 23; V. Perera 6 for 109, P. Kumara 2 for 47). 

Galle CC - 104 for 2 (M. De Soyza 38 n.o., P. Kumara 52 n.o). B.M. 


Schools water-polo today

The 11th All Island inter Schools Water-Polo championships conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Aquatic Sports Associaton will be held on Sunday September 23 at the Sugathadasa Stadium pool from 8 a.m. 

The championships will be conducted for both juniors and seniors, with each school allowed to enter two teams. 

The seedings of the schools participating will be done at 7.45 a.m. on the day of the championships. 


SAF Games as scheduled in Islamabad next month

The South Asian Games will be held as scheduled in Islamabad next month despite rising tension in the region, following the terrorist attacks on the US, an official said.

Sri Lanka's National Olympic Committee President Hemasiri Fernando went to Islamabad over the weekend for talks with Pakistani officials regarding the situation, NOC Adminstrative Secretary Michael Karunatilleke said yesterday.

He said the NOC chief had informed Colombo they had decided to go ahead with the seven nations games in Islamabad. A proposal was considered for the venue to be shifted to Sri Lanka if the situation worsened but the NOC had said it would need at least three months to get ready. 


Aruna to blow in Thailand

Aruna Jayasekera, presently officiating at the Singer International Sevens in Bogambara, Kandy has been invited to 'blow' at the Yeiti International Sevens in Thailand on September 22 and 23. Aruna will leave for Thailand on September 20. 
Malik resign's
Meanwhile Malik Samarawickrema, has tendered his resignation from the National Sports Council with immediate effect.


Sri Lanka in Asian Motorcycle Association

Sri Lanka was represented at the Asian Motorcycle Association (AMTA) inaugural motor cycle touring event staging a ride from South Korea to North Korea and back. 

Maduranga Caldera, a current racing rider was Sri Lanka's representative at this historic event which commenced from the Olympic Park in Seoul with an overnight stopover in Tae Baek City. 

The Korean Motorcycle Federation (KMF) is developing an international class racing circuit in this city that is due for completion in 2003. 

Riders from nine countries numbering 58 and 230 riders took part in the inaugural championships. 

Maduranga was fortunate enough to meet the FIM Vice President Andrej Witkowski and the Sri Lankan was featured in the Korean Times. 

The Sri Lankan was an invitee to participate in the Chinese Motorcross.

Sri Lanka is a member of the Federation of Motorcycle Sports of Sri Lanka which is a member of Asian Motorcycling Union. - (UAM) 


A pity about van dort!

It's a pity that Michael Van Dort after being picked for the squad in the recent Test series against India was not given an opportunity to play even in one game. Is this the way to promote and encourage young talent for the future? 

Former Minister Lakshman Kiriella told The Sunday Times that he was disappointed at the non-inclusion of Van Dort. He has proved his mettle with a 100 in the warm-up game against India. 

'Well, I didn't want to interfere in the selection, though the selectors were picked by the Ministry. Tilan Samarweera was also a member in the squad. He, too, was omitted. When it came to Ministry ratification. I queried his omission', said Kiriella. 

They promised me that Tilan will play in the next Test. He played and scored a debut test 100. There are many more like him, who have been overlooked despite their talent and lost to the game. (B.W)


Trinity-Rahula draw 

Sri Rahula made Trinity follow on but had to be satisfied with a draw in their Lemonade Trophy First XI match at Peradeniya yesterday.

Left hander Sajeeva Silva made a top score of 61 while Priyadarshana, skipper Pieris and Wanigasekera entered the thirties, almost all the front liners contributed.

Spinner Pieris (left arm) and Samaratunga and Silva (off spinners) bowled out the Asgiriya lads for 131.

Clifford Ferando batted solidly in both innings for Trinity.

Sri Rahula - 231 for 8 dec. (S. Silva 61, N. Pieris 31, N. Priyadarshana 33, Y. Wanigasekera 30 n.o, A. Gunawardena 20, S. Fernando 16, N. Samaratunga 16; H. Mendis 2 for 25, R. Gamage 2 for 70)

Trinity - 131 (C. Fernando 45, A. Pieris 15, C. Punchihewa 20; N. Pieris 4 for 34, N. Samaratunga 3 for 36, R. Silva 3 for 8) and following on 62 for 1 in 32 overs (S. Jayasinghe 27 n.o, C. Fernando 19 n.o; A. Gunawardena 1 for 7) - A.K.

Vidyartha held

Vidyartha drew their Inter-School cricket match against S.Thomas' Matale at the Police Grounds, Kandy yesterday.

S. Thomas' - 195 (M. Amunugama 81, P. Liyanage 34; Sujith Perera 7 for 58)

Vidyartha - 233 for 6 (Prasanna Indrajith 65, Kosala Gunasekera 59, Daminda Wegodapola 38, Sujith Perera 25; Irugalbandara 2 for 54, Sampath Madawela 2 for 45) - S.S


Old petes invited

The newly formed old Peterites Rugby Club has been invited for the All India-South Asia Rugby tournament, organised by Bombay Gymkhana Club to be staged from Sept. 22 to 29 in Bombay. 

According to a senior official of the old Peterites Association said for the first time they have been invited to participate in this tournament.

Already a cricket club had been formed, the rugby club sowed its seeds last weekend. Due to the K.O. 'A' div. tournament beginning shortly some of the old boys playing for their respective clubs will not be touring . 

But still we have decided to make it with six present boys included and a just reward for their performance in last season's schools rugby scene. 

According to Camillus Abeygunawardena, President of the OBA, the tour has been made possible, thanks to the support given by Singer (Sri Lanka), Hameedia's Group, General Engineering Group, Carnival Freight Forwarding and M and M Group. 

Dimbulla Rugby F.C. too will be taking part revamped by some Army players drawn from Diyatalawa.

The team will be managed by Chairman Rugby Camillus Abeygunawardena and Sunil Aponso while S.W.Chang will accompany the team as coach ( B.W)


Mercantile Tennis

The second Mercantile Tennis Championships conducted by the Sri Lanka Tennis Association will be held from October 6 to 14 at the National Tennis Centre Courts, Greenpath.

Last year 18 teams participated and the organisers expect more this eyar. 

National Development Bank won the championships last year with 105 points with Hong Kong Bank runners-up with 75 points. 

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