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Anjana urges support for Lucky Six after historic win



President’s Challenge Cup Volleyball

by Reemus Fernando

Lucky Six SC, Pothupitiya beat many an odd to record a rare championship victory at the President’s Challenge Cup Volleyball tournament recently. High attacker Anjana Sandeepana who played a vital role in the team’s historic achievement believes that the outfit playing without proper facilities richly deserve a break now.

“What we achieved at the President’s Challenge Cup is remarkable in many ways. It is the first time in my lifetime that this club accomplished such a feat. The team we met in the final were from a volleyball stronghold. Beating them in a final was a dream come true,” said the 24-year old Sandeepana in an interview with the Sunday Island. Sandeepana was adjudged the Best Player of the final.

Sandeepana who stands at six foot two inches said that it was his first victory at national level as he had not won a championship even as as a schools spiker. The furthest his school team had gone was to win at provincial level.

While the champion teams of each district played in the President’s Gold Cup tournament this year, the runners up teams of each district were drawn in the President’s Challenge Cup. After edging out formidable teams to reach the final, Lucky Six stunned Nattandiya United consisting of former and present national players to clinch the title which was their first top level trophy in 36 years. Lucky Six last won a national title in 1984 when they won the ‘D’ Division championship.

“We don’t have a ground of our own. We use the court at Puthupitiya MV for training. The team needs support if we are to make it to the next level,” said Sandeepana.

The corporation between Puthupitiya MV and Lucky Six has helped both institutions. While the club has been able to use the school’s court, the up and coming spikers of the school have benefited from the volleyball culture the Lucky Six brings to the venue, according to former official of Lucky Six, Kanthasiri Meegamuwage, who is also an In Service Adviser- Sports of the Panadura Education Division.

“When the school does not have balls they use the balls of the Club and vice versa,” said Meegamuwage.

According to Sandeepana the Covid 19 pandemic had affected all teams and no team had an advantage with regard to training. He said the team had trained as one unit only for a few days and had no resources to acquire the service of a professional coach. However, Lasantha Abeyratne a former player, who volunteered to train the team proved to be the ideal pick as some of his decisions helped them at crucial junctures to outsmart the team from volleyball stronghold Nattandiya which had the support of a professional coach.

Nattandiya United were trying to make a comeback in the fourth set after trailing 2-1. They were about to secure the fourth set when Abeyratne brought Isuru Dilshan to serve. It proved a master stroke as the youngster won four consecutive points for them with his serve to secure the set 27-25 and seal the game.

Sandeepana in his interview thanked all his team members and officials who helped them and urged individuals and institutions who support the national sport to provide patronage to sustain as a formidable team.


Nuwan Kumara (Captain), Ashan Malaka, Sumudu Lahiru, Tharaka Ravindra, Buddhi Nishan, Harshaka Silva, Chalitha Amarawansa, Pasindu Theekshana, Isuru Dilshan, Ashen Malshan, Ashan Malintha, Sadeepa Lakshan, Sampath Ruberu.

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Mihiranga, Charuka shine as Richmond secure quarter-final place 



Under 17 Division I Cricket  

by Reemus Fernando   

Spinner Pubudu Mihiranga produced a five wicket haul to lead Richmond to 60 runs victory over Sri Devananda in the Under 17 Division I cricket pre-quarter-final played at Ambalangaoda on Sunday. Richmond were in danger of missing the quarter-final berth after Ravindu de Silva triggered a middle order collapse to restrict them to 166 runs. But Mihiranga’s counter attack helped them earn the crucial victory as they restricted the home team to 106 runs.

Chasing a target of 167 runs to win, Mayura Malshan, Lahiru Kavinda and Sithum Vihanga were the only batsmen to reach double figures as Devananda were bowled out in the 25th over. After doing well in the field, their batsmen failed to back up, with five batsmen getting out without scoring.  For Richmond, Thamindu Pradeeptha and Yuri Koththigoda did early damage before Mihiranga came up with his impressive spell to complete a five wicket haul.  Mihiranga’s 8.5 overs included four maidnes and he gave away just 23 runs for his five wickets.

Deciding to bat, Charuka Gunasekara stood out with a valuable knock of 81 runs (94 balls, 14x4s). With Gunasekara going great guns Richmond were looking at posting a challenging total. But Ravindu de Silva had other ideas.

Introduced to the attack as the ninth bowler, de Silva rattled the Richmond batting line up with a five wicket haul. Richmond were 133 for two wickets at the end of the 30th over but their last eight wickets could add only 33 runs during the remainder of the innings as Ravindu De Silva joined Sithum de Silva to contained the formidable line up to 166 runs.

Sithum who completed his quota of ten overs gave away just 19 runs for his three wickets. Ravindu bowled seven overs taking five wickets for 19 runs, while Mayura Malshan and Sithum Vihanga too bowled economical spells. Malshan’s seven overs (7.2) cost him just 12 runs. In the other two pre-quarter-final matches played on Saturday, Revata College, Balapitiya pulled off an exciting three runs victory over St. Thomas’, Matara and Trinity scored two wickets victory over D.S. Senanayake.


Richmond 166 all out 43.2 overs (Helith Edirisinghe 19, Charuka Gunasekara 81, Extras 24; Sithum de Silva 3/19, Ravindu de Silva 5/19) 

Sri Devananda 106 all out in 24.5 overs (Mayura Malshan 28, Lahiru Kavinda 30; Pubudu Mihiranga 5/23, Yuri Koththigoda 2/11) 

Results of the Matches played on Saturday 

Revata beat St. Thomas’ Matara by three runs at Matara  


Revata 140 all out in 49.1 overs (Kaveesha Mendis 59, Malith Mihiranga 23; Loshitha Diksith 3/26, Manuga Yonal 2/22, Pesandu Sanjan 2/14) 

St. Thomas’ 137 all out in 37.5 overs (Abdul Majid 26, Manuga Yonal 23, Sanju Dilshan 21; Kaveesha Mendis 2/32, Malith Mihiranga 2/18, Shehan Madusanka 3/18, Purna Ranyuru 3/18) 

 Trinity beat DSS by one wicket at Mount Lavinia  


DSS 144 all out in 45.3 overs (Shanal Binuksha 23, Sohan Senarathyapa 39, Chanul de Alwis 20, Extras 24; Malith Rathnayake 2/25, Sweaph Anurajeewa 2/24)

Trinity 145 for 8 in 49.5 overs (Sweaph Anurajeewa 27, Jayavi Liyanagama 32; Akidha Weerasuriya 2/19, Randisha Bandaranayake 2/22) 

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Man United’s David de Gea after Brentford defeat: Last season’s horror show still in our minds



David de Gea has said Manchester United are struggling to get over last season’s traumatic campaign and added the hangover is contributing to a nightmare start to life under Erik ten Hag.Ten Hag is the first United manager in more than 100 years to lose his first two games in charge after back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

The 4-0 humiliation at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday left Ten Hag’s team bottom of the Premier League table and De Gea said the dismal end to last season, when United lost seven of their final 12 games, is playing a part.

“It was a difficult season and probably it’s still in our minds,” he said. “When something goes wrong people get panicky, it’s difficult. But we have to learn, we have a new manager, some new players, we need to be more positive, keep learning and improve.”

All four goals at Brentford were conceded in the opening 35 minutes, prompting Ten Hag to replace Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez and Fred at half-time. The Dutchman said afterwards he wanted to change his entire starting lineup following a disastrous first 45 minutes and De Gea said the United boss relayed his anger to the players at the break.David de Gea endured a miserable afternoon as Manchester United were thrashed at Brentford. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

“He said it was unacceptable, what we were doing on the pitch,” De Gea said. “Nothing else to be honest. It was horrible, then some tactical things. It was horrible from us.

“I must take responsibility, I think I cost two goals to the team today. That first goal cannot happen. As a team we should react much better than we did, but I think I cost the team two goals.”

It won’t get any easier for United with Liverpool their next opponents at Old Trafford on Aug. 22. United haven’t beaten Liverpool in a league game since 2018 and the last three fixtures against Jurgen Klopp’s side have ended in three defeats and a combined score of 13-2.

“It’s about winning games,” De Gea added. “As soon as we win one game, two games, we’re going to start feeling better and more positive.

“We’re training really well, people are training hard, everyone is giving everything, to be honest, but then in the games we are not performing. For sure we’re going to learn, we have to learn and we have to play much better.”


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Godamanne retires as Sri Lanka secure Group III promotion



Sri Lanka registered a 2-0 victory over Iraq to earn promotion to Group III as they won the vital encounter in the Asia Oceania Zone Group IV Event, which was also the final Davis Cup match for Harshana Godamanna at the SLTA clay courts in Colombo on Saturday.

In the singles Yasitha de Silva beat Abdullah Ali Hatem 6-4, 6-2 and Harshana Godamanna beat Adel Mustafa Al-Saedi 6-3, 6-2.

Godamanna who represented Sri Lanka for 20 years made his retirement from the game a memorable one. He was presented with a plaque with many pictures of him in action and his parents in appreciation. The presentation was made by Iqbal bin Issack president of SLTA.

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