Rugby, arguably one of the most followed Schools sports in Sri Lanka, will see a resumption after almost two seasons of no play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kicking-off with a schools 7s tournament from the 18th to the 31st of December 2021, which will see the best teams from the top rugby playing regions battling it out for supremacy.
Committed to developing talent and investing in our Future, Today, the Dialog Schools Rugby 7s will give students, who missed out on their final year of schools Rugby, the chance to play and progress to the Club and National level.
Western, Central, North-Western and Southern provinces will be playing the tourney in a group format, with the top finishers from the groups challenging one another in the knockout stage, while the Sabaragamuwa teams will be playing each other in a league structure to decide the provincial champion.
As the principal sponsor, Dialog Axiata PLC has made arrangements to broadcast the tournament LIVE on DTV Channel 140, Dialog ViU, Thepapare.com and also on the Asia Rugby FB page in the interest of all present and old boys, parents, supporters, well-wishers and the Sri Lanka’s rugby-loving community as the tournament will be played behind closed doors.
Well-wishers will also get the opportunity to vote for the most popular team from each province on their respective match days by visiting dlg.lk/mostpopular, the winning team will be announced before the Cup Final in each province and will be rewarded with Rs. 50,000 gift voucher to purchase sports equipment.
The Dialog Schools 7s tourney will be played in accordance with the safety guidelines administered by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Sports and also the Ministry of Education. The players will be in a bio secure environment, overseen by their respective schools, with rapid antigen tests to be conducted at regular intervals.
Schools that have confirmed their participation for the Western Province tournament are, Royal College, Isipathana College, St. Peter’s College, St. Joseph’s College, Wesley College, Thurstan College, Science College, Zahira College, Ananda College, Nalanda College, D.S. Senanayake College, Mahanama College, Prince of Wales College, S. Thomas’ College, Piliyandala Central College, Carey College, Moratu Vidyalaya, St. John’s College, CWW Kannangara College, Sumangala College, St. Benedict’s College, and Piyarathana College. The Western Province tournament will be conducted on the 18th and 19th of December and will be played at the Royal College Sports Complex, Colombo 07.
Schools in the Central Province tournament include, Trinity College, Kingswood College, Dharmaraja College, St. Anthony’s College, Vidyartha College, Sri Sumangala College, St. Sylvester’s College and Sri Rahula College. The matches will be played on 27th December 2021 at Pallekele Rugby Grounds.
Schools battling it out for supremacy in the Sabaragamuwa Province include, Ehaliyagoda Central College, Thalduwa College, Mawanella Zahira College, Kegalu Vidyalaya and Dehiowita Central College with their matches to be played on 28th December 2021 at the Ruwanwella Public Grounds, while the Schools representing the North Western Province will be Maliyadeva College, St. Anne’s College, Ibbagamuwa Central College, Welagedera College, Lakdas De Mel College, Kuliyapitiya Central College and Sir John Kotelawala College; the tourney will be on the 30th of December 2021 at the Maliyadewa College Grounds, Kurunegala.
Top honours in the Southern Province will be keenly contested amongst St. Aloysius College, Richmond College, Mahinda College, Dewapathiraja College, Vidyaloka College, Debaraweva Central College and Rahula College. The tourney will be played on the 31st of December 2021 at the Koggala Free Trade Zone Ground.
The 2018 season was the last time a full schools tourney was held, while the following year the tournament was stopped in the first round after the outbreak of COVID-19.
St. Joseph’s have a slight edge over Trinity
Under 17 Division 1 Cricket Final
by Reemus Fernando
Two unbeaten teams, St. Joseph’s and Trinity will bank on some of the leading performers of the tournament for success when they clash for the title of the Under 17 Division I cricket tournament at Surrey Village ground, Maggona today. The two teams have in their ranks a number of players who are among the leading batsmen and bowlers of this tournament. Their performances have helped the two teams remain unbeaten.
St. Joseph’s, who have a slight edge over their rivals, are equipped with a formidable bowling unit. They have the leading spinner of the tournament in left-arm spinner Yenula Dewthusa, who has captured 19 wickets. Offie Kaven Pathirana is also among the tournament’s leading bowlers.
The Joes pace attack is led by Dunick Perera, who too is among the top ten bowlers of the tourney. He will spearhead the pace attack with Manasa Madubashana. In the batting department the Joes were depending on shared responsibilities. Sahan Dabare, Rishma Amarasinghe, Abhishek Jayaweera, Kenath Liyanage and Dewthusa are the batsmen to watch.
Trinity too have relied heavily on a left arm spinner for wickets during the tournament. Malith Rathnayake, who is the joint third highest wicket taker of the tournament will lead their bowling unit. Trinity did not have the service of Kaveen Gamage this season due to injury. Lakwin Abeysinghe, Wathila Udara and Oshana Lokuge who shared the responsibilities in the spin department will look forward to back Rathnayake today. Their pace attack will be led by Kavindu Jayarathna and Thisal Yapa. In the batting department Dimantha Mahavithana, Lakvin Abeysinghe, Pulisha Tilakaratna, Aadham Hilmy and Jayavi Liyanagama have scored the bulk of runs for them.
How they reached the final
The Joes reach the final after ousting one of the favourities, Gurukula in the semi –final. Their quarter-final against St. Sebastian’s was washed off and they reached the semi-final on merit of the bonus points they had. They were the champions in their group in the first round and during the first two knockout games in the second round they beat Holy Cross College, Kalutara and Mahanama College, Colombo.
Trinity too were the champions in their group in the first round. During the knockout stage they beat D.S. Senanayake College and St. Anthony’s College, Wattala. In the quarter-final against Mahinda, no play was possible due to rain and they advanced to the semi-final as they had more bonus points. In the semi-final they beat S. Thomas’.
St. Joseph’s (from): Kenath Liyanage (Captain), Abishek Jayaweera, Naren Muralidaran, Yenula Dewthusa, Sahan Dabare, Hiran Ranaweera, Kaven Pathirana, Senodh Soysa, Oshada Gunasinghe, Dihen De Silva, Manasa Madubashana, Dunick Perera, Rishma Amarasinghe, Shenal Anuradha. Officials: Asiri Caldera (Master in Charge), Dylan Ramanayake (Head Coach), Torin Pitigala (Asst. Coach)
Trinity (from): Malith Rathnayake (Captain), Jayavi Liyanagama, Thisal Yapa, Oshana Lokuge, Kavindu Jayaratna, Aadham Hilmy, Sweath Anurajeewa, Dimantha Mahavithana, Pulisha Tilakaratna, Lakvin Abeysinghe, Wathila Udara, Thisum Rajaratna, Kadesh Anton. Officials: V. Raveendran (Master in Charge), Brain Senarathne (Master in Charge), Naveen Ekanayake (Head Coach).
Spain women’s players call for coach to be sacked
Spain’s football federation says 15 players have said they will resign from the women’s national team unless head coach Jorge Vilda is sacked.The RFEF said the players claim his tenure is affecting their emotional state and health.
However, the RFEF said it “is not going to allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach”.
“These types of manoeuvres are far from exemplary and outside the values ??of football and sport,” they said.
“Making those decisions does not fall within their powers.”
It warned refusing to play for the national team was “a very serious infraction and can carry sanctions of between two and five years of disqualification” and went on to say it would not call up the 15.
“The Federation will only have committed footballers even if they have to play with youth,” it added.
“This fact has gone from being a sporting issue to a dignity issue. The selection is non-negotiable. It is an unprecedented situation in the history of football, both male and female, in Spain and worldwide.
“The national team needs players committed to the project, defending our colours and proud to wear the Spain shirt.”
It ended by saying the players – who have not been named – would only be called up again in the future “if they accept their mistake and ask for forgiveness”.
Vilda, 41, has been the national team coach since 2015 and led his side to the quarter-finals of Euro 22, where the pre-tournament favourites lost in extra time to eventual winners England. In 2015 Vilda’s predecessor Ignacio Quereda resigned after Spain’s players called for him to be sacked. The move came after Spain finished bottom of their World Cup group.
New Zealand survive scare to complete series win
New Zealand women survived a major collapse to down West Indies by two wickets and with almost 10 overs to spare in a hard-fought encounter in Antigua. With this victory, New Zealand also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.
The bowlers had laid down the foundation for New Zealand’s win. Eden Carson returned figures of 3 for 31 while Hayley Jensen bagged a two-for. Fran Jonas, Sophie Devine, Amelia Kerr and Lea Tahuhu also took a wicket each as the West Indies could muster only a modest total of 169 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs. Hayley Matthews, batting at No. 5, top scored with 46 while Chinelle Henry accumulated a brisk 35-ball 30. No other batter crossed the 20-run mark for the home side.
In the chase, New Zealand lost their skipper Devine, alongside Suzie Bates and Kerr within the first 10 overs. Green and Lauren Down then strung together an alliance of 66 to put New Zealand on course for a rather comfortable win. Even after Down was dislodged by Stafanie Taylor, Green and Brooke Hallday put on a stand of 47 to take the visitors within just six runs of victory. However, at that stage, New Zealand lost wickets in a heap to suddenly find themselves in some trouble.
Green fell in the 37th over to Afy Fletcher. Her batting partner, Halliday and Tahuhu were dismissed in the very next over by the off-spinner Karishma Ramharack. Ramharack wasn’t done yet as she also castled Isabella Gaze for no score. Eventually, Jensen calmed down the nerves in the New Zealand camp by cracking a boundary off Fletcher in the 41st over to take New Zealand past the finishing line.
West Indies 169/9 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 46; Hayley Jensen 2-27) lost to New Zealand 171/8 in 40.1 overs (Maddy Green 48; Karishma Ramharack 3-22) by two wickets
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