4th June 2000

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CH out to retain Hameedia Under-24 trophy

The Western Province RFU's under 24 tournament since its inception has given that much-needed competition for the school leavers and for the schoolboy ruggerites, said its vice-president Fazal Mahmud, in an interview with The Sunday Times.

This popular tournament has gone places since its inception. It has opened its gates for newcomers to join the scrum and enjoy the game. Its not just winning trophies, but participating in this healthy sport and its development.

Hameedias, who are helping sport put aside rugby has come forward with a sponsorship package for the second successive year. It's a 15 a side tournament played for the Hameedia's trophy.

CH & FC has been dominating this tournament according to Shane Dullewe, rugby convenor - winning the title on three occasions. The Maitland Crescent Club will go flat out to give a repeat performance Dullewe added.

The pre-quarter qualifying matches kick off on June 4 (1) Colombo University - Tri Star S.C. match (2) Moratuwa University will take on Cambrians S.C., at Katubadde on June 6. All matches will be played at Havelock Park, barring this game.

The tournament will go on till June 25 when the Cup and Plate finals will be worked off.

With a month's lay-off for the Premier 'A' league tournament, it will be an ideal barometer for the club players at this level to be in trim. Notable absentees are The Sri Lanka Army and the Air Force due to exigencies of duty.

The two groups 'A' CH & FC, Old Zahrians S.C, Navy and winners of Qualifying match once. 'B' - Havelocks S.C, Police S. C., CR & FC and winners of qualifying match 2. (B.W)

A do-or-die effort from Kandy

Police Vs Navy May 26, Police won 25-16: The Navy were mere spectators in the 1st half! Police opened on a strong note and with an all-out attack tried to over-run the Navy. They did this for a while and led 20-9 at half time. The Navy came back later as the Police seemed to run out of steam but the lead was too much. The Navy had a number of scoring opportunities with play so close to the Police goal line, but they failed to finish it off! The Police held on. The score 20-16. Then Police skipper, full back Chintaka Perera finally scored a sizzling try off a three quarter movement to seal the game.

CH & FC Vs Army - May 27 - CH won 18-11: Two fine teams. Both eager to win. The more enthusiastic - the Army. The more confident - the CH. A great performance by the Army. The Army is the fittest side in the Tournament. They can withstand any onslaught in the 1st half and come back in the 2nd half with all guns firing. Not with "brawn" but with "brain". The score at half time was 8 all. It was a scrappy game with the Army spoiling many CH moves. CH failed to control the game as the Army was far too fit to let-up. Unlike against Kandy where CH ran circles round a less fitter side, against the Army, the CH were checked and wilted under pressure. But luck was not with the Army who failed to score on many occasions. Frayed tempers led to some ugly scenes on the field. CH need to get fitter!

Kandy Vs CR & FC - May 27 - Kandy won 22 -10 : "After this win, is Kandy still over-rated?", someone asked me. I said, "One swallow does not make a Summer!" This was a 'do-or-die effort by Kandy in front of their home crowd. This time they did what was right. And I must say it was a great win by them - a sterling performance after being led 10-9 at the breather. In my preview in the Daily Mirror I said that Suranga Amerasinghe and Asoka Jayasena are key players who should play from the beginning. Also Indrajit Bandaranayake must play in the 2nd half. According to Hafiz Marikar, Indrajith was switched on to the wing in the 2nd half and scored 2 superb tries. Indrajith is a winger and NOT a Centre! These tactical moves coupled with a reorganized 3rd row defence, made all the difference. CR could not cross the Kandy line in the 2nd half! Kandy played the correct game in forcing penalties against a CR team that came out to storm them. CR expected Kandy to weaken under pressure. What was Kandy's plan? They expected CR to attack from the kick-off. So they conserved their energy and defended mostly in the 1st half with sporadic attacking play. Congratualations to Kandy and their Coach Yatawara and of course, the "think-tank" Priyantha Ekanayake. Kandy now have the time to GET FIT. Colombo crowds want to see your power and talent. Moral: Never under-estimate an 'over-rated' opponent!

Havelocks Vs Air Force - May 28 - Havelocks won 34-8: Three players stood out in this game. First was Sanjeewa Jayasinghe a winger with a fantastic burst of speed, deceiving foot-work and a fine swerve. He waltzed through opponents who seemed to cling to air, and scored 2 superb tries! Second was Flanker Siva Wanasinghe, who was all over the place - a player who Coach Ana Saranapala should be proud of. He tackles hard and provides excellent support to the three quarters. 3rd is Sudath Sampath. A shade slower these days, but he still has a fine side-step to out-fox his opponents - he scored fine try leaving the Air Force defence guessing! The Havies worked their three quarters at every turn and were well rewarded. For the Air Force who started well, they need to be more positive in their game - they have a reasonably well balanced side but lack the confidence to drive home an initiative.

Neville serious

Former Sri Lanka National Football Coach, Neville Abeygunawardena is seriously ill and has undergone an operation.

He is to leave to Vellore, Madras soon to undergo further treatment.

All past footballers who were trained by him, should visit him, wishing him recover soon.

Three wins for Moratuwa School

By S.M.D. Sirisena

The Moratuwa Cricket School coached by Bandula de Silva scored three wins and lost one game on their two week tour of Dubai.

Moratuwa School of Cricket beat Sharjah Cricket Club by 92 runs. Moratuwa SC 130 for 4 in 20 overs.

Ashantha Chethana 34, Malitha Fonseka 22, Iyanka Cooray 20.

Sharjah - 38 all out. (Shevan Wickremasinghe 4 for 5).

Beat Cambridge High School by 5 wickets. (Cambridge High School - 138 for 5 in 25 overs. (Iyanka Cooray 2 for 11). Moratuwa SC 140 for 5, (Ramindu Ranasinghe 43 not out, Imran Baharan 40.)

Beat Lanka Clubs by 50 runs.

Moratuwa SC - 163 for 9. (M. de Silva 12, Ramindu Ranasinghe 22, Iyanka Cooray 27, Imran Baharan 44.)

Lanka Clubs - 113 all out. (K. Kuruneru 2 for 26, Imran Baharan 2 for 13, S. Wickremasinghe 3 for 19.)

Lost to English High School by 5 wickets.

Moratuwa SC 140 for 8 (A. Chethana 43, Achala 21, Iyanka Cooray 16, Imran Baharan 20)

English High School - 142 for 5.

Tennis title for Maheesha

By Bruce Maurice

Maheesha Seneviratne, the top seed beat Eranga Dias, the bottom seed, to win the girls under 14 singles final in two straight sets at the Junior Hardcourt Tennis Championships worked off at the National Tennis Centre Courts at Greenpath yesterday.

Maheesha beat Eranga 6-0, 6-0.

D. Premadasa the top seed in the girls under 12 singles won the title defeating S. Sandeniya 6/3, 6/4.

The girls under 16 doubles, boys under 16 singles, boys under 14 singles and boys under 12 singles semi-finalists were also found.

Meanwhile the senior hard court nationals commenced yesterday.

Chess champs Visakha

Visakha Vidyalaya continued their winning form by clinching both the under 19 and 15 girl's chess titles at the Schools Chess Nationals zonal qualifiers held at Isipatana Vidyalaya.

The Under 19 team scored 25 1/2 points out of 30 while their under 15 team scored 23 1/2 points also out of 30.

The winning under 19 team comprised of Sanlakshi Liyanage (Capt), Imalka Perera, Udayanthi Wijesundera, Lokeswari Raddalgoda, Piumika Karunanayake, Geethamali Fonseka and Nadeeja Jayasinghe.

The under 15 champion team comprised of Aparna Fonseka (Capt), Shamali Jayatunga, Rasangi Weerasekera, Minoli Fernando, Hansi Perera, Narmada Manawasinghe and Mihiri Amarasinghe. Dinesh de Silva is the coach of the Visakha team.President's College Rajagiriya won the boys under 19 title while D.S. Senanayake won the under 15 title.

Deepika, Thilini take titles

By Ananda Weerasuriya

Deepika Rodrigo and Thilini Piyadasa won the women's and men's singles table tennis titles at the Western Province Open championships concluded at the S. Thomas' Indoor Stadium at Mount Lavinia.

H.H. Hadi of St. Clare's Colombo won the girl's under 9 singles title with P. Jayasundara of Musaeus as the runner up: 21/12, 23/15.

Udyanga Bandara of Maliyadeva won the boys under 9 title defeating N. Herath of Royal 21/15, 21/19 in the girls under 11 singles.

P. Abeywardena of Royal beat B. Walgam-pola also of Royal 21/19, 22/20 while Kalpana Herath of Girls High School beat Nelum Hunasekera of Dharmasoka Ambalan-goda 21/7, 22/17 to win the girls under 13 title.

Sports in Brief

St. Joseph's Nugegoda wins

By Ananda Weerasuriya

St. Joseph's Nugegoda beat Our Ladies of Victories, Moratuwa by 28 points to 23 to win the schools cager title conducted by the Schools Basketball Federation.

The Josephians led by 12 points to 9 at the half time. Holy Family Convent Kurunegala won the third place defeating St. Paul's Milagiriya by 25 points to 12 after leading 19/6 at the short whistle. Anuskha Talagala of St. Joseph's was picked as the best player.

Education Ministry to help football Federation

The Ministry of Education has promised all assistance to the All Island Under-12 training programme for football organised by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka. P.D. Sirisena has been appointed as Director Training by the Football Federation.

School children from over 600 schools will be trained in this programme. A meeting to discuss this project will be held under the chairmanship of DIG Bodhi Liyanage, the President of the Football Federation at the Ananda College Auditorium on Sunday June 4 at 9.30 a.m.

Osman in the lead

Razak Osman is presently in the lead in the Y2K Arena Bowling competition in the men's singles with an aggregate of 256 points in the preliminary rounds held at its bowling alley at the Millennium Park, at Darley Road. Rishan with an aggregate of 246 points is lying in second position. In the men's doubles, June and Robie are heading the placing with 454 points. The preliminary rounds will take place on Sunday, June 11 with the semi-finals fixed for June 14.

Participants will have to keep 5 of their highest scores for the selection to the semi-finals. The sponsor of this competition is Sigiriya Village.

Sapumal excells in England

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Former Antonian and Tamil Union opener Sapumal Herathge has excelled with the bat for Swardstone Cricket Club in the English Cricket League. Twenty-eight-year-old Herathge who migrated to England in 1998 completed a fine season for his Club Swardstone last summer scoring four fifties and also claiming a couple of wickets in the league season.

The hard hitting right-hander who opened the innings for his Club had a top score of 87 against Horsford and also thumped half centuries against Downham Cricket Club (57), Norwich Cricket Club (55) and Cromir Cricket Club (62).

In addition to his batting skills, Herathge contributed with his off-spinners claiming 4/12 against Acle 'A', 3/37 against Vauxhall Cricket Club, 2/34 against Fakenham Cricket Club, 5/29 against Norwich Wanderers, and 2/24 against Downham Cricket Club.

Sapumal has also completed the ECB Level One coaching course which was conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Sri Rahula Champions

Sri Rahula Katugastota's Under-17 cricketers emerged group leaders by virtue of their superb performances in the three first round games.

Having beaten St Mary's Kegalle by 40 runs, they thrashed Maliyadeva Model School by 150 runs. They were on course for another smashing win over Ibbagamuwa when the rain came down. Asitha Kumara 90 (St. Mary's) and 88 and 5/15 (Ibbagamuwa) has been quite outstanding. Maduka Gunawardena (23, 61, 61) Anuruddha Wekadapola (47, 65, 57) and Yasintha Wanigasekera (78, 34) have provided the runs. Skipper and left-arm spinner Nuwan Pieris has bowled effectively.

Sri Rahula beat Maliyadeva Model by 150 runs. Sri Rahula 254 in 48.2 overs. (Y. Wanigasekera 34, M. Gunawardena 61, A. Wekadapola 65, N. Priyadarshana 13, N. Pieris 21, R.S. Bandara 3-34) and 22/0 in 4 overs. (N. Priyadarshana 19 n.o.)

Maliyadeva Model 104 in 33.2 overs. (C. Bandara 26, M. Shaishan 33, Y. Wanigasekera 2-27, M. Gunawardena 3-8) Sri Rahula - Ibbagamuwa. No Decission.

Sri Rahula 298 in 49.4 overs. ( A.S. Kumara 88, M. Gunawardena 61, A. Wekadapola 57, N. Pieris 12, N. Priyadarshana 32, K. Asanka 12, N. Sameera 2-43, K.T. Neranjan 2-28)

Ibbagamuwa 60-7 in 12.4 overs. (M. Suriyarachchi 21, A.S. Kumara 5-15, Y. Wanigasekera 2-34) A.K.

Isipatana Sidelined?

Some schools rugby fixtures have not been finalised as yet and most affected is Isipatana College.

Being in the forefront in the schools rugby season they have been dealt harsh treatment.

Isipatana is a school that has played against all top rugby playing shcools at one time.

They clashed with the toughest and improved their game and once they are on top most of the schools make various excuses in giving them fixtures, the most common being the venue and the date. As sportsmen we have to give the "devil its due" .

Some of the schools very conveniently skip this most important rugby fixture with Isipatana and call themselves worthy champions.

In sports you cannot improve unless one clashes with tougher sides. Its nice to hear or see one play with Isipatana if they beat them calling themselves worthy champs.

Spectator interest is also deteriorating day-by-day and when some of the important fixtures does not take place the situation will worsen.

It's very honourable to play with a top rugby playing school with a very short history than avoid the game.

Bharatha Mendis, Colombo 4.

ICC on betting

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has informed the Sri Lankan Cricket Board that any person elected or appointed to office of Cricket Board's in member countries as per the Resolution concerning bookie connections, will not cease to hold office irrespective of any connections if they are elected in accordance with the Resolution that is to be ratified by the membership of the ICC.

The latest clarification by the ICC comes after the West Indies Cricket Board president brought it to the notice of the world governing body that the Resolution on betting be re-worded so as not to exclude anyone connected with the betting industry, for example horse racing, which has nothing to do with cricket.

(Please also see Cricket Board A.G.M.)

Connaissance great sponsors

Tee talk with Tita Nathanielsz

The course at the Royal Colombo Golf Club has been slaughtered carving away the 15th, 16th and 17th holes for better treatment leaving only 14 holes for social or competitive golf. The re-conditioning appears tremendous and when the 18 holes are completed it will be an absolute pleasure striking a ball or coaxing a putt at the Ridgeways.

Play is now restricted or curtailed with the par reduced and handicaps proportionately trimmed. The game ends quicker leaving more pleasurable time at the 19th.

Smart Sponsor

Smart entrepreneur Chandra Wickremasinghe who heads Connaissance de Ceylan commands a highly successful operation in the Tourist Industry.

Attached with an enthusiastic appeal for golf his sponsorships have been lavish and commendable and the May 2000 medal round came under his wing of support which was enormously successful.

Due to the curtailed area of play the scores cannot be placed on official records but I will give you the story of a 14 hole competition.

'A' Division

Lalith Ramanayake breezed through in a thick drizzle and despite wet pants and shoes came off admirably to beat young stylist Jehan de Saram and take the 'A' Division classic.

Imasaka Wins

The broad shouldered Imasaka from the land of the rising sun was in great form. A strong striker of the ball he got much distance and when he settled occasionally by the fringe of the greens he chipped with deadly accuracy. He produced an excellent round to beat Korean B.C. Lee by a slender margin of one stroke and take the 'B' Division Medal.

Pieris Excels

Dilan Pieris shot to prominence and had to be recognized for his absolutely excellent round collecting the lowest score of the day. S.H. Lee played a commendable round but was beaten by Pieris who took the 'C' Division Medal.

Senior Ismail

Prof. M.M. Ismail was identified and cheered as the best senior in his group and even though he played slightly above his handicap he appeared to have good reasons to carry a semi permanent smile of success through the day. M. Jameel, another happy senior was pleased with his success when he was declared runner-up to Ismail.

Bright Spark Jehan

Despite the incessant early rain and unfavourable playing conditions Jehan de Saram played and absolutely superb round excelling in all areas of play. He finished with the best gross score of the day.

He was closely followed by that massive Swiss Sjeord Grueter whose long range tee shots were the treat for the day. Against all this classic play came the pleasure seekers, hell raisers and earth mowers spearheaded by Anil Kundanmal, Rajan Joseph, Don McGillvary, Johan Adler, Paul Goh, T. Akbarally, C. Abhayaratne, M.S. Salieh and J.K. Rajendran to name a few and then we finally had Bede Anthony and Tissa Hattotuwa who ventured out, got stiffled somewhere on the course and failed to return to base. The weather gods were unkind making the course unpleasant in certain areas.

The water hazards were riddled with rough shots giving the pond boys another lavish harvest and the 19th hole was calm in the afternoon before the storm that errupted at the reception at sunset time over cocktails. The award ceremony was classic with the type of hospitality Connaissance carries with them.

Rose and Anton emerge winners in mixed pairs Bridge

Dr. Rose Peiris and Anton Selvanayagam emerged winners in the mixed pairs bridge event sponsored by Mahen Jayatilleka, conducted by Bridge Federation of Sri Lanka at its Headquarters at the Race Course.

Mrs. Manel de Silva and T. Thillainadarajah finished as runners-up followed by Mrs. Shihari Saravanapavan/M. Chelliah, Mrs. Cera Fernando/T. Shanmugalingam, Mrs. Shanthi Rasiah/H.A. Weerasuriya.

Nine pairs participated in this event.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka's open team in Karachi participating in the SAARC Bridge championships comprising, Fritz Perera (playing captain), D.P. Senaweera, Dr. Dilanjan Soysa, Asoka Jayasinghe and K.P. Baskaran.

The Sri Lanka leg of the world wide simultaneous bridge contest will be held at the Colombo Orient Club on June 2 at 6.30 p.m.

Entries will be accepted till 6 p.m. on the same day.

An open pairs event sponsored by N.D. Karunatilleka will be held on Sunday, June 11 at the Bridge Federation Headquarters at Reid Avenue commencing at 9.15 a.m.

Scrabble in July

The Sri Lanka Scrabble League (SLSL) is a non-profit organization whose aim is to popularize Scrabble in Sri Lanka, and provide opportunities for people of all ages, from all walks of life, to play socially and competitively at national and inter-national levels. Anyone is welcome to join the league.

The SLSL organises the All Island Scrabble Competition annually. The event is held in 4 categories viz.

Open - Open to anyone; Novices - For those who have not participated in this tournament previously.

Rover pinpoints......

It happened four days ago?

A coach of a basketball team from a leading shool in Colombo was seen instructing his junior players to worship him with temple flowers placed at his feet.

Rover learns these flowers were plucked from the school compound. This was watched by a few onlookers. Wht is he up to?

How to cheat?

It happened nine years ago to be exact - on June 2,1991, where an examination was held at the Sasakawa Hall with regard to the 5th SAF Games for Technical Officers, conducted by two foreigners and 91 candidates pased out of 91.

But Rover learns that now that those who have passed out has been increased by one with an addition of a person who did not sit the exam but whose name appeared in alphabetical order.

Use of foul language?

The Assistant Secretary of the Interim Committee Rover learns had tendered his resignation.

The cause being that he was abused in foul language by the CEO of this popular sport who was told in uncertain terms to get out if he cannot do the work entrusted to him.

Who is trying to correct whom?

Coach cum player?

A leading cricketer who called a day recently, is to make a comback to play in the domestic scene, but is demanding that he should be appointed as coach cum player, ousting an experiencd one who has proven himself as coach.

Slippery again?

The diving boards at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium has turned slippery again, with those training facing the risk of being injured, like what happened before. Why this neglection.

How come?

Trouble is brewing in the hockey circles with those affiliates not paying up their yearly subscriptions which automatically deprives them of the voting rights at the AGM.

Rover learns that only six affiliates have paid up their yearly subscriptions which the top man though elected from an outstation district not paying their subscriptions. What discipline?

Three in Exco?

Three swimming coaches are serving in the Executive Committee of the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union (NAASU). Doesn't this go against the constitution which special decisions taken at the Exco being known to them.

What action?

The Western Province TT Associatation conducted its first ranking tourney for the year. What came of it? Many walk-overs decided the utlimate champions, which seeded players giving walk-overs. Rover learns was a well organised matter which was bringing the tourney to disrepture. What action does the Western Province TT Association intends to take. Your guess is as good as mine!

Elects themselves on their own?

Rover learns that the Nuwara-Eliya District Cricket Association, has held its Annual General Meeting in a secret manner with two officials appointing themselves to the uppermost post.No statements of accounts were posted to its affiliates in keeping with its constitution. Why this appointments on the sly?

Rugby selection out

BY Jatila Karawita.

The national rugby selection committee which met on Thursday night to pick the Sri Lanka national rugby squad to tour Japan for the upcoming Asian Rugby Football tournament have reportedly put off their selections to mid June due to various factors concerning the players the Sunday Times reliably learns.

They have hence made up their minds to choose the final squad of 23 at a later date as they feel if the squad had been selected by now it would have affected most of the ruggerites in numerous ways.

Among the reasons which had compelled the seven member selection committee to postpone their selections are the possibility of players dropping in form,the option of opting out of practices, the possibility of injuries being developed, the chances of some not being released due to the exigencies of services and the same happening to some others who may not be released by their respective companies, and also the possibility of certain players being kept out on disciplinary grounds to name a few.

A reliable source attached to the rugby selection committee who did not wish to be named said that with the decision to select the final squad being put back the original squad of 32 will undergo intensive training at a residential coaching camp supervised by national coach SSP Nimal Lewke ably assisted by CR & FC coach Tavita Tulagese.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka has been forced to play four rugby union Tests inside seven days following the withdrawal of India from the Rugby Asiad in Amori Japan late this month.With the pull out of minnows of Asian Rugby India there will be a group of nine countries taking part in the Asiad from June 24 to July 2.

The top four countries Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, are scheduled to scrum down in Group 'A' while the remaining five Sri Lanka, China, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia are to battle it out in Group 'B'.

The five countries in the second group are slated to play each other on a round robin basis.The Sri Lanka rugby squad is due to take wing to Japan on June 21.

The 32 member Sri Lanka rugby pool from which the final squad of 23 will be picked for the Asiad is as follows.

Dunstan De Silva (Kandy), Shantha Rohana (Kandy), Anura Fernando (Police), Shashika Cooray (CH), Viraj Prasantha (CR), Mohamed Buksh (Kandy), D Jayasuriya (Army), Pradeep Basnayake (Kandy), Suranga Amera-singhe (Kandy), Thushara Jayalath (CH), N Jayasuriya (Navy), H Karunarathne (Army), M Madurasinghe (Army), Shamly Nawaz (CR), B M Dharmapala (Army), Savantha De Seram (CR), Asoka Jayasena (Kandy), Champika Nishantha (CR),Leonard De Silva (Havelocks), Milinda Jayasinghe (CH), Sajith Mallikarachchi (Kandy),Asanga Rodrigo (CR), Saranga Jayakody (CH), Haren Perera (CR), Yuganthara Karunarathne (CH), Kapila Knowlton (Army), Indrajith Bandara-nayake (Kandy), Radhika Hettiarachchi (Kandy), Sanjeewa Jayasinghe (Havelocks), Pradeep Suranga (Havelocks), Nalaka Weerakkody (Kandy), and Nalin Dissanayake (CH).

The Rugby Asiad Draw is as follows.June 24, Malaysia V China, Singapore V Thailand (B).June 25, Japan V Taiwan, Hong Kong V South Korea (A).June 26, Sri Lanka V Thailand, Singapore V China (B).June 27, Hong Kong V Japan, South Korea V Taiwan (A).June 28, Sri Lanka V Malaysia, Thailand V China (B).June 29, Japan V South Korea, Taiwan V Hong Kong (A).June 30, China V Sri Lanka, Thailand V Malaysia (B).July 2, Sri Lanka V Singapore, Thailand V Malaysia (B).July 2 Cup Final.

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