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1st June 1997

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[Rugby Action]Gideon Raka, star witness in the Joel Pera killing, played in fits and starts for Havelocks yesterday in their Rugby League match against Kandy. Whether the reason was injury or security was not clear. Raka has been under police protection for the past month after his colleague and Havelocks coach Joel Pera was gunned down outside a Colobo Casino. Raka was an eye witness to the killing and there have been threats to his life. Inset shows Raka sitting on a bench during yesterday's match.Police commandos were also at the grounds.
Action form the game. Pix. by Dunstan Wickremeratne


Vaas out of Windies tour

Chaminda Vaas has pulled out of the Carribean tour because of a back injury. His place has been taken by Ravindra Pushpakumara.


Kandy maul Havies 32-15

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Kandy SC powered by four first half tries scored a lack-luster 32 points (3 goals ,1 try and 2 penalties) to 15(1 goal,1 try and 1 penalty) victory over Havelocks SC at Havelock Park yesterday.

Firm favorites for this year's League Champinship title Kandy SC,played far below their true potential,but managed to chalk up their third win for the season, thanks mainly to the unassailable 29-5 lead they took at the breather.

Havelocks, on the other hand, took time to settle down and gave an improved display as the game progressed to dominate proceedings in the second half.They conceeded just a single penalty as they confined Kandy to their own territory and also attacked through their mobile forwards threatening to cross their opponent's line.

Kandy drew first blood in the sixth minute when centre Opeti Turua sizzled through the Havelocks defence after Manasa Qoro broke loose from a line-out. Full back Nalaka Weerakkody added the extra points after earlier missing two penalties within kicking range.

The home side responded within minutes when no. 8 Steff Korovov touched down by the corner flag after the Havelocks three quarters made inroads with a daring move.

Leading 7-5 midway in the second half the knock-out champions got their act together to run up three more tries within twenty minutes to unsettle the home team Fijians Qoro and Opeti combined well to score again while Priyantha Ekanayake and Harris Omar were the others to touch down for the visitors.Weerakkody added the extra points to two tries and also put over a penalty for Kandy to take a handsome 29-5 lead at lemons.

After the turn-around Havelocks forwards rattled their opponents with an attacking game and pegged their opponents in their own territory.They earned their reward when no.8 Korovov scored for the second time in the game off a 5 meter scrum. Sukanavalu added the extra points and also put over a 35 meter penalty to narrow the gap.

Kandy added three more points to their tally through a Weerakkody penalty to finally emerged easy winners. Referee Asela de Silva

CH win 11-6

CH&FC came from behind to beat Petersons by 11 points (1 try, 2 penalties) to 6 (2 penalties) in their Inter-Club A Division league championship match played for the Carlsberg Trophy at Longden Place last evening.

Petersons led 6-nil at the breather with Colin Denish putting over the two penalties.

For the Maitland Crescent Club, Shanaka de Silva scored the try and Jude Dimithri put over the two penalties.

Referee Dilroy Fernando.


Ananda back in action

Ananda will be back in action in the Milo Inter-School Rugby Tournament as they have been cleared by the Disciplinary Committee of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association and the Rugby Referees Association has been instructed to detail referees to officiate at their matches.

The Disciplinary Committee of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association have suspended Ananda skipper Chaminda Bombuwela from playing for one match for abusing the referee in their match against Royal.

Ananda will meet Mahanama on Thursday (June 5) at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

Meanwhile the Principal of Ananda T.B. Damunupola in response to last week's article in The Sunday Times regarding the appointed referee failing to report for their match against S.Thomas' Mt. Lavinia has written:

"Up to the scheduled time of of 5 pm on Friday (May 23) neither Ananda nor S.Thomas'. the hosts, had been informed ofthe reported decision taken by the Rugby Referees Union by direct communication or through the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association.

"Serious allegations made by the referee officiating at the Ananda-Royal match had received prominence. It is a matter of regret that the views of the alleged offending party had not been sought.

"The Ananda-Royal match was an enthralling encounter. The two schools played excellent rugby and having watched the match throughout, I can vouch for the good conduct and sportsmanship displayed by both sides.

"The Deputy Principal of Royal who witnessed the match with me will no doubt endorse my views.

"As for the events that had taken place thereafter, I have requested the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association to conduct an early inquiry to ascertain the factual situation".

In conclusion, the Ananda Principal states: "If any person is found guilty of any misdeed, they will face strict disciplinary action". (AF)


Chess with and without sight

The visually impaired from the National Chess Association made their initial foray into competitive chess against the young chess wizards from St. Joseph's at their school premises on Friday.

It was great to see the totally blind E.A.Sumanapala draw his game against the Josephian while losing the other two games contested by Tony Alwis, another totally blind participant and Sameera Karunasena.

Whilst the recent series of games between world champion Gary Kasparov and the IBM Computer 'Deep Blue' was unique itself, it was also unique for chess in Sri Lanka as it was the first ever time that such a contest took place.

Picture by Kumara Dayawansa Nanneththi shows E.A.Sumanapala in action.


Vidyartha in 13-3 win over Thurstan

By Shane Seneviratne

Vidyartha beat Thurstan by13 points (1 try, 2 penalties) to 3 (a penalty) in their Milo Inter-Schools Rugby League encounter at Nittawela yesterday. At the breather Vidyartha led 8-3

The Kandy lads opened scoring in the fifth minute through a penalty put over by S.P.Dissanayake while they increased their tally through a try by P.S.Malwella in the 17th minute.

Thurstan reduced the lead with a penalty put over by Mohammed Rilwan in the 22nd minute.

Aruna Pradeep scored a try during injury time for the Kandy side.

Referee Sam Samarasekera

Earlier in the 2nd XV game, Vidyartha beat Thurstan 20-nil.

Kingswood win

Kingswood beat Mahanama by 15 points (3 tries) to 3 (a penalty). The winners led 10-3 at half time. Earlier in the Under 17 game Kingswood beat Mahanama by the massive margin of 73 points to nil.


Moratuwa stadium back to De Soysa

By Annesley Ferreira

The newly created Moratuwa Municipal Council as one of its first acts has renamed this suburban city's Tyronne Fernando Stadium as the De Soysa Stadium in memory of the philanthropist who gave generously to the poor.

The motion moved by Deputy Mayor Virantha Fernando, a former national cricketer was passed by 16 votes to 11 with two abstentions in the PA controlled council.

All 15 PA members and the MEP voted for the motion to rename the stadium, while the 11 UNP members voted against and the two JVP members abstained apparently on the basis that sports is not vital in their vision of social change.

The four-acre land was set apart for the De Soysa playground in 1942 after it was donated by C.H. De Soysa in memory of his father Peter. Gradually the playground was developed and a children's park also was set up till it was raised to the status of a stadium and named after the Moratuwa MP Tyronne Fernando in 1979.

Moratuwa residents on Friday welcomed the renaming of the stadium, saying it gave honour where honour was due.


Nepal or Bangla as venue for SAF Games

"Either Nepal or Bangladesh will be the venues for the Seventh SAF Games which will definitely take place this year", said Mr. Prema Pinnawela, General Secretary of the of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) who returned to the island after attending a Council Meeting abroad.

Discussions had taken place with the new Olympic Committee of Bangladesh as well as the old committee on the dates to conduct the SAF Games in Kathmandu. Earlier the SAF were scheduled to be held in September, but later on they wanted the Games to be postponed and wanted it to host it in 1998.

"SAF Games Council had decided in the interests of the competitors that the Games should be held this year at all costs", said Pinnawela.

"A final decision will be taken on June 14 in Nepal to decide as to who will be the hosts - Nepal or Bangladesh.

"If Nepal cannot host the Games, Bangladesh will definitely host it in December", Pinnawela added.

If Bangladesh hosts the Games, it is likely that the disciplines will be changed.Karate and Taekwondo will be taken out and two other disciplines will be included, keeping with the tradition of conducting the compulsory sports: athletics, swimming, football and volleyball.


Who needs rugby referees anyway?

While presenting some views on issues concerning local rugby in these columns last week I commented on the progressive stance taken by our rugby authorities in encouraging the Forces clubs to "import" foreign talent. I stated that in doing so these sides not only become competitive against their independent counterparts but that this infusion of overseas talent on a broader basis would also help to raise overall local standards. This being so, it would be interesting to focus upon some of the other issues which have a significant impact upon these standards.

One such issue is the standard and style of local refereeing. One should state at the outset that our local referees have over the years, done a magnificent job in keeping the game available to rugby enthusiasts. Moreover they have done this despite frequently being at the receiving end of both physical and verbal assaults dished out by a moronic element who keep turning up at matches supposedly because of a deep seated interest in the game but who, in reality, have no love for the game whatsoever. Everyone should understand that referees are doing a job for no profit at all and that without the services of these gentlemen we will not have any games to see. It is therefore the responsibility of everyone interested in the future of the game in Sri Lanka to make sure that referees are protected from thuggery. Primary responsibility for this must rest with the home team hosting the match but as this is an issue effecting the future of the game as a whole, other clubs and schools and even the public attending the match must get involved in stopping mindless idiots from putting, rugby out of circulation.

Referees are human and will make mistakes. Each one will also have their own interpretations of the laws and how they should be implemented. Such differences and even mistakes happen at the highest international levels where referees have access to considerable coaching and practical experience. It should therefore not surprise or arouse anyone if it happens in little old Sri Lanka. We should be mature enough to expect and accept it as part and parcel of the game here and let the referee do his job to the best of his ability.

Nevertheless, this is not to say that the public and the players do not deserve to see better refereeing standards. Players put a lot into every game they play (or should do) and the public pay good money to come and see them. I can also bear personal witness from my own experiences that a poor referee will not only ruin a game but can be the cause of foul play on the field as players get frustrated or take advantage of weak refereeing. The need to improve the standards of refereeing is therefore, as vital to the development of rugby as the improvement of playing standards. We also desperately need to expose our national squad players to international standards in refereeing because referees of international class invariably tend to let the game flow uninterrupted much more than our local ones do. Our players need to learn to expect this when they tour overseas.

It is very encouraging to see that the controlling body for our referees have at long last taken positive steps to improve the standards of refereeing in the country. They have done this by borrowing the concept of the match referee from cricket and put in place an assessor or advisor to oversee the standard of refereeing at each game. They have also invited some overseas referees to help out with their task. All this indicates that the problem has been recognised and that positive action is being taken to correct it. It is therefore doubly unfortunate that certain people, far from appreciating this fact continue to shower our valuable referees with their physical and verbal abuse. It is utterly shameful. If they just think about what they would be doing if there were no more matches to watch over the weekend, before they hurl their next bit of garbage, perhaps things might get a bit better for the referees and those of us who genuinely enjoy rugby for the great game it is.


Three schools win their U-15 matches

Royal, Mahanama and Ananda Sastralaya scored wins in their inter school under 15 cricket tournament played for the Horlicks Trophy conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association.

Royal beat Harischandra MV Negombo by 218 runs at Reid Avenue, Mahanama beat St. John's Panadura by 57 runs at the BRC grounds Havelock Park and Ananda Sastralaya beat Carey by 7 runs at the Health Grounds Castle Street.

At Reid Avenue-

Royal helped by a 168 runs partnership for the fourth wicket between Menuka Keenavinna 116 not out and Skipper Dulip Kuragama (62) totalled 336 for 6 and bundled out Harischandra MV A for 122 with Janath Pattiarachchi and Ranuka Wijepala capturing 4 for 24 and 3 for 10 respectively.

Royal-336 for 6- (Menuka Keenavinna 116 not out, Dulip Kuragama 62, Amila Munasinghe 43 ,D. Achila 3 for 74, S .Sachintha 2 for 40.)

Harischandra MV A 122 all out. (A. Shiran 24, S. Kosala 13, Janath Pattiarachchi 4 for 24, Ranuka Wijepala 3 for 10)

At the BRC grounds -

St. John's Panadura 169 all out in 39 overs Yohan Jinasena 48 Kosala Tivanka 3 for 26, Mahesh Bandara 3 for 15)

Mahanama - 226 for 6 in 44 overs - (H. Malindra 51, Ganganath Kulatunga 30, Thushara Hewagama 41, Sajithra Jayatilleka 28, M. Fernando 6 for 28)

At the Health grounds -

Bowlers dominated this low scoring game M. Malith captured 5 for 10 in Ananda Sastralaya's innings of 88 and T. Samsudeen claimed 6 for 26 in Carey's innings of 81.

Ananda Sastralaya - 88 all out in 35.3 overs - (T. Sirimanne 15, Y.P. Bandara 16, D. Perera 3 for 28, M. Malith 5 for 10)

Carey 81 all out in 43.3 overs. (M. Tariq12, S. Gunaratne 16 not out, T. Samsudeen 6 for 26, D. Kulasena 2 for 16, T. Sirimanne 2 for 3 (AF).


De Zoysa sights Kenya

Richard de Zoysa, Sri Lanka's rallying wizard became the first Sri Lankan to participate in East-African Safari Rally in March this year. He was Co-Driver in this event and would no doubt have given him a practical picture of what to expect when he competes in the World Rally Championship in 1998.

De Zoysa, the winner of two consecutive years (1996 and 1997) in the premier rallies in Sri Lanka has brought Sri Lankan rallying to a new frontier with his flamboyance and talent. He intends introducing International Rallying to his fellow Rally drivers in Sri Lanka and is certain that they are upto international standards.

He names Bandula Weerasinghe, Yoga Perera, Reyaz Farouk, Nishan Weerasuriya, Aravinda Premadasa, Rizwi Farouk, Pradeep Jayawardena, Suren Abeysuriya and Pubudu Wickrema will excel if given the opportunity.

De Zoysa has also shared his Kenyan experience with Malik Zaveer, President SLARDAR and Bandula Weerasinghe President SLAMS and will do his utmost to promote rallying in accordance with the FIA regulations where there are competitive stages. It would be remembered that the late D. Krishnan, the Malaysian and Singapore rally champ when interviewed by SLBC and the newspapers commented that the rallies here were tougher than international rallies.

The only drawback is that the system of competing is different. Incidentlly it was the brilliance of Krishnan who contributed tremendously to De Zoysa's success.

De Zoysa is hoping to rally competitively in Kenya on June 6th and 7th before competing in his Subaru on October 4th, 5th and 6th in the premier Africa National Rally Championship. He is fully sponsored by Subaru Kenyan for fuel free entry and accomodation

If his aspiration of performing well in this event is a reality he will have no difficulty in finding sponsors for the World Rally Championship '98 Kenyan stage in which he is billed to compete.


Vidyartha bags boxing title

N. M. S Nandana of Pilimatalawa MMV was adjudged the most scientific boxer of the All Island Inter School Novices boxing meet for the L.V.Jayaweera Memorial Trophy conducted by the Sri Lanka School Boxing Association held at the Poramadulla MMV Hall.

T. Jayantha of Sri Medhankara MV Horana who are newcomers lost in a split decision in the finals. He was picked the best loser.

Vidyartha College Kandy emerged overall champions with 29 points followed by Pilimatalawa MMV 18 points, Vidyartha Vidyalaya 16 points, Sri Medhankara MV. 14 points and last year's winners Seevali MV Ratnapura fifth with 12 points.

In all 31 schools participated in the meet. This is an all-time record. The meet was sponsored by the People's Bank, Kandy.

Palitha Elkaduwa, the Secretary to the Central Province Education Ministry was the Chief Guest.

The president of the school Boxing Association Donald Munasinghe in his speech requested that boxing equipment be granted to all schools.

Pin Weight-

R.P.B. Lankatillekegedara (Vidyartha) beat M.P.S. Karunaratne (Veyangoda MV).

Light fly weight- K. B Janaka Chaminda (Sri Medhankara MV Horana) beat E.M Elamuire (Poramadulla MMV).

Bantam weight H.P.K.M. Sugathadasa (Seevali MMV., Ratnapura ) beat M.P.C. Jayakody (Veyangoda MV.)

Fly weight- N.M.S. Nandana (Pilimatalawa MMV) beat D.S.K. Rathnaweera (Vidayartha)

Feather weight-

D.R. Sisil Kumara (Vidyartha Horana) beat D.I Ariyasinghe (Peradeniya MMV)

Light weight- T. M Ekanayake (Nalanda) beat S.A.C.S. Gunaratne (Carey).

Light welter weight- K. G. I. U. Jayaweera (Pilimatalawa MMV) beat R.M.S. Anura Bandara (Pilimatalawa MMV).

Welter weight- Sumith Priyankara (Vidyaratne Horana) beat S.S.M.C Punsiri (Seevali Ratnapura)

Light middle weight- B. A. R. A. Abeywardena (Mihindu MV. Ratnapura beat U.D.G.M. Samanayake (Sri Medhankara MV)

Middle weight R.M. P Ranasinghe (Vidyartha) beat B.B. Rajapaksa (Nugawela MV)

Light Heavy Weight- Sudesh Madhuranga (Vidyartha) beat T. Jayantha (Sri Medhankara MV)

Heavy Weight H. M P.S P Herath (St Sylvester's) beat P.K.N.P. Munidasa (Dharmaraja)

Briefly

Devaka helps Antonians to win shuttles title

{tc "Briefly"}

Little known 13 year old Devaka Ekanayake gave a fine performance to help Anthony's clinch the under-16 badminton title and defeat Royal by 3 matches to 1 in the All-Island Inter-Schools "A Division" clash at the S. Thomas' Indoor Stadium, Mount Lavinia, last night.

The School's shuttle champions have now completed their second title for the season.

Antonians are the under-19 defending champions for the third consecutive year. They beat the favourites and more fancied strong Royal team.

Boys Singles.

Gayan Sylvester lost to A Ariyadasa 7-15, 13-18.

Devaka Ekanayake beat Prabhath Kumarasinghe 15-11, 15-7.

Dhammika Gunaratne beat Pubudu Tennekoon 15-5, 15-13.

Boys Doubles.

Dhammika Gunaratne/ R. B Joseph beat Prabhath Kumarasinghe/ L.P. Kumarasinghe 15-11, 15-5. (AF)

Chess wizards

A high standard of Chess was maintaind at the Jaffna inter School chess tournament held at the Jaffna Hindu College premises.

This tournament was organised by the Jaffna Hindu College and co-sponsored by the Lions Club and Hatton National Bank Jaffna Branch. (AF)

Brothers from Batticaloa help SLAF win cager title

Shantan Kunrean and his brother Navaratnam Thevaharan guided the Air Force to their first major cager title after ten years, winning the 3rd Jude Namasivayam Memorial Basketball championship, defeating Police by 82 points to 49 at the Depot Police Courts at Bambalapitiya.

The two brothers are former St. Michael's College basketball players from Batticaloa.

The defending champions Police were led by 31 points to 22 at half time.

Air Force with the recruitment of some sharp-shooters won this title after ten years winning the National crown in 1987. They were coached by Sunil Seneviratne.

Nine teams participated in this tournament conducted by the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation.

The teams that participated are: Colombo Bulls, Wattala BC, Old Mazenodians BC, Kochchikade BC, Moratuwa BC, Police, Michaelmens BC, Army and Air Force.

In the final, Kuneran scored 25 points while his brother scored 18 supported by Basil Fernando 18 and Asanka Perera 20.

Earlier in the semi finals, Police beat Colombo Bulls by 70 points to 66, and Air Force beat Moratuwa BC by 88 points to 69.

Navaratnam Thevaharan was picked as the best player of the tournament. (AF)

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