Milo President’s Trophy Schools Rugby                                                                                           

Petes makes it a hat-trick

By M Naushad Amit
St. Peter’s skipper Poornaka Delpachithra made a memorable exit from school rugby when he planted the only two tries to help his side beat Isipathana in a thrilling finale by 16 (2 tries and 2 penalties) to 11 (1 try and 2 penalties) and retain the President’s Trophy for the third consecutive year at the Royal Sports Complex yesterday.

The deficit margin of the game was a try and the place kickers played a vital role for both sides as the game turned out to be a low scoring thriller with only three tries scored. Isipathana had very little scoring opportunities compared with St. Peter’s. They won four penalties but their scrum-half place kicker Srinath Sooriyabandara managed to put over only two in addition to the opening try of the game which came from No.8 Tharindu Siriwardena.

The Peterites regular place kicker and fly-half Harsha Weerakkody had to be replaced with full-back Amila Fernando who was successful in both his attempts as the former blundered two easy conversions and two penalties which was a 10 point disadvantage in their final total. “If not for a few vital mistakes and Weerakkody’s bad kicks we would have ended with a good score. Weerakkody had a very bad day on the field,” said Sanath Martis the coach of the champion side.

He admitted that Isipathana played their hearts out in a tournament final which was also the school rugby season’s final game. “Isipathana played their best game I think. Comparing with the league match, they have changed a lot,” added Martis.

St. Peter’s faced an early blow when their chief playmaker, No.8 Ishan Noor faced a shoulder injury trying to prevent an advancing Isipathana skipper Dinusha Chathuranga. During Noor’s 10 minute absence on the field the Peterites had to play with 14 men. Isipathana took advantage of the opportunity to score a try off their No.8 Siriwardena and they took an early 5-nil lead. St. Peter’s fought back the very next minute with an advancing maul and flanker Delpachithra scored his first try to level the score. Delpachithra broke-off from the maul in the 50 metre area and advanced from the blind side towards the score line fooling the entire Isipathana defence to plant his second try under the post.

After turning down the rampaging Isipathana forwards successfully, St. Peter’s managed to add three more points through a penalty when a Pathana defender was caught tackling a Peterite forward. Full-back Fernando who took over Weerakkody’s role as the place kicker made no mistake as the score went up 13-5. Isipathana’s scrum-half
Sooriyabandara who spearheaded a couple of fine break-through attempts earlier put over a penalty to close gap down to 13-8 at the end of first half.

More than a third of the second half was totally dominated by the Peterites. During that period Fernando put over a penalty to bring St. Peter’s to a safer ground at 16-8. But during the final 10 minutes Isipathana fought back adding another 3 points through a Sooriyabandara penalty. The Peterites evaded Isipathana from blowing up their President’s Trophy hat-trick with a solid defence till the final whistle. The match was refereed by Priyantha Gunaratne.
St. John’s, Panadura Royal victorious

A last minute try by winger Hazry Amid secured St. John’s, Nugegoda a win after trailing 5-7 in the first half to win the Premier Trophy beating Piliyandala Central by 10 (2 tries) to 7 (1 goal). The match was controlled by Pradeep Fernando.
Royal, Panadura won the Chairman’s Trophy beating Maliyadeva, Kurunegala by 22 (1 goal and 3 tries) to 5 (1 try). The winners led 12-nil at the breather. Irshad Cader refereed the game.


South Africa follow-on despite Prince century

LONDON: South Africa were bowled out for 247 - 346 runs behind England - and were forced to follow-on on day three of the first Test at Lord’s on Saturday. By stumps South Africa had made 13 without loss in their second innings.

Ashwell Prince made a determined eighth Test century, but it was in vain as South Africa looked in dire trouble. England bowled well as a unit but spinner Monty Panesar was the pick taking 4-74 off 26 overs.

Stuart Broad and Ryan Sidebottom took two each while James Anderson dismissed Graeme Smith and took a superb catch.
Scores: England 593-8 decl. (156.2) (K Pietersen 152, I Bell 199, S Broad 76, Extras 48, M Morkel 4/121, P Harris 3/129)
South Africa 7-0 contd 247 (93.3) (N McKenzie 40, A Prince 101, AB de Villiers 42, R Sidebottom 2/41, S Broad 2/88, M Panesar 4/74) and 13-0 (4) at close.


Kandy shows supremacy over Havies

By Samiddha Rathnayake
The second half burst by Havelock SC wasn’t enough to prevent mighty Kandy SC from cruising to a 37 points (two goals, four tries and a penalty) to 17 (two goals and a penalty) victory in their ‘A’ division Caltex league rugby match played at Havelock Park yesterday.

Many were hoping for a massacre of the innocent but at the end of the day it was clear that the Havies were getting the maximum use of home advantage. They tackled hard from the kick off whistle to keep the heavy Kandy line at bay. The shackles were finally broken by Sanjeewa Jayasinghe who with some swift twists through the Havies defence line planted a try. Few minutes after, Saliya Kumara managed a penalty conversion to take the score up to eight. With their flanker, Dilip Kumara managing another try, Kandy was looking to dominate the game. Adding to the woes of the home side Fazil Marija’s try was converted by Saliya Kumara. Before the breather Havies got their name in the score board with a penalty conversion by Samantha Lakshan. Thus the first half ended giving the visitors a big lead of 17 points.

At the start of the second half, Kandy was looking to make it a cake walk out of the home side. But after Pradeep Liyanage’s try for Kandy, Havies looked to make inroads into the opponent’s territory. They handled the ball quite impressively in the line and got results by means of back to back goals. Lakshan planted the first try and also converted it. Shafie Hassan planted the second one for the home team which was also converted by Lakshan.

During those few minutes, Kandy was in a spot of bother facing some unexpected waves from the Havelock front line. But it was short lived as the winners soon gathered momentum to score a try and a goal. Again, it was Jayasinghe who came to the rescue scoring a crucial try. A few seconds before the final whistle Gayan Weeraratne planted a try which was converted by Eranda Weerakkody. The game was refereed by Dilroy Fernando.


Three-member committee accused of discrepancies in report

The Jayantha Dharmadasa led group against whom allegations have been brought with regard to the television deal signed by Sri Lanka Cricket and Taj Television has accused the three-member committee of distorting facts in presenting their findings to the Sports Minister.

Sources close to the group said the proper picture had not been given and that there were many discrepancies in the report. They also questioned the validity of the Minister’s secretary heading the committee and the partiality of the report as a result.
“We acted according to the gazette notification given to us by the then Sports Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga which gave the Interim Committee the right to take decisions without consulting the Sports Minister,” the source stated.

They also stated that the members of the IC were kept fully informed of the decisions taken and denied the accusation that the minutes with regard to the deal was not presented to the IC members for approval.

Further it was pointed out that the addenda dated September 30, 2005 had been approved by Minister Kumaratunga and that it was unethical for the present Minister of Sports to cancel it.
The aggrieved party said that they would seek an appointment with Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge and apprise him of the correct facts.

Further Taj Television has said that any unlawful termination of their contract which is due to run till 2012 would have severe legal repercussions. The Sports Minister acting on the report ordered Sri Lanka Cricket to terminate the contract with Taj Television on Wednesday and call for new tenders for the period from 2009-2012. The present contract which is due to expire at the end of the year was extended by the Dharmadasa interim committee for a further four years.


 34th National Sports Festival                                                                                                                            

Western Province emerge overall champs

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
Nadeeka Muthunayaka of North Western Province established a new Sri Lanka record in the women’s Shot Putt event when she cleared a distance of 14.88 meters at the 34th National Sports Festival which ended at the DA Rajapakse Stadium in Beliatta yesterday.

Muthunayaka was able to set up both games and national record for this event erasing her previous national record distance of 14.45m established at the 2006 South Asian Games in Colombo. Her previous meet record was 14.21m set up in Colombo last year.

Earlier on day two three meet records were set up by Olympic prospect Nadeeka Lakmali of Southern Province in the women’s Javelin Throw with a distance of 52.34 meters, women’s long jumper NCD Priyadharshani of Western Province with 6.3 meters and Padma Nandani Wijesundara in the women’s discus throw with a distance of 44.34 meters. Wijesundara representing Uva Province participating for a record 17th time in the National Sports Festival erased her own meet record of 44.17 m established in 1997.

Western Province once again emerged overall champions with 51 gold medals, 28 silver medals and 28 bronze medals while Central Province became runner up with 26 golds, 32 silver and 29 bronze medals. North Western Province finished in third place with 23 golds, 23 silver and 18 bronze medals. Priyadharshani was adjudged the most outstanding women’s athlete while Nayana Praba Dharmaratne of Western was named best men’s athlete. The Sports Festival was conducted by the Sports Ministry together with the Southern Province Council Sports Ministry.


Lemonade Cup Schools Cricket Awards

Madhawa Warnapura, captain of Nalanda College cricket team receives the trophy for the All island best team from Jit Gunaratne, president, sector head-consumer food sector at the Elephant Lemonade Cup Schools Cricket Awards Night held at the BMICH yesterday. (Pic by Ravindra Dharmatillake)