Sticks galore at striker semis
By Asif Fuard

Yesterday’s semi finals of the Under 18 Inter School Hockey championship between Royal College and St, Thomas College Matale which was played at the Colombo University grounds was filled with pandemonium as parents and well wishers invaded the pitch while the game was on.

The said incident was sparked when the St. Thomas No.2 full back allegedly assaulted the Royal centre forward who is 15 year old Shahin Mohammed on his lower abdomen from a hockey stick when the umpires were not watching.

Soon after the incident both teams had a clash with players pushing and shoving each other as the situation went beyond the control of the umpires. Many parents and well wishers had also stormed into the act resulting the organizers and the umpires being unable to stop the situation.

The umpires M.A.M Ashroff and M.C. Dissanayake eventually stopped play for around 20 minutes and had discussion with the captains of both teams. The injured Royal centre forward was immediately rushed to hospital. The St. Thomas Matale player was eventually given a yellow card and was asked to leave the field.

M.A.M Ashroff who was one of the umpires in the said game told The Sunday Times that it was a very ugly incident and that the involvement of parents was the main reason the situation went beyond control.
“This is a game between two schools. An incident that happens in the field between players should be dealt by the umpires and the players. There is no need for parents to get involved in a school game.

arents and well wishers invading the grounds only gives the sport a bad name. None of the umpires saw the boy getting assaulted. The umpires are only human so these things are expected,” he said
A coach who spoke to The Sunday Times on grounds of anonymity said that these incidents have been regular occurrences where school hockey players get violent and that the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation has not taken steps to nip the issue in the bud.

At the end of the game St. Thomas Matale won the match with the final scores being 2-1.

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