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Lucky Six end decades long trophy drought at Pothupitiya



President’s Challenge Cup Volleyball

by Reemus Fernando

Lucky Six SC, Pothupitiya, one of the leading volleyball clubs of Kalutara District reached top national level, challenging the sport’s traditional powerhouses of the island at the recently held President’s Challenge Cup tournament.

The team captained by Nuwan Kumara stunned Nattandiya United in the final of the President’s Challenge Cup tournament which was held alongside the President’s Gold Cup Volleyball Championship at Maharagama.

It was the first time the team from Pothupitiya clinched the title of a top national competition in more than three decades. They beat a team consisting of former and current national players 3-1 in a thrilling final.

According to a team official, the last time Lucky Six SC had won a national level competition was in 1984 when they clinched the ‘D’ Division title.

“The team was revitalized recently and the club has managed to make up for the lack of infrastructure,” he said.

After conceding the second set to level scores Lucky Six came back strong in the third and fourth sets to beat Nattandiya United 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 27-25 in the final.

Nattandiya United consist of several top national players including former national team setter Nilanka Sanjaya (captain).

Lucky Six beat Katana Ekabadda in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-21) in the knockout stage to secure the final spot after doing well in the group stage. Anjana Sandeepa and Malaka Senaratne were among leading contributors for the team in the final. While Sandeepa won the Best Player of the final award, Malaka Senaratne received the Best Setter award.

Lucky Six earned the opportunity to play in this tournament after they ended up as Kalutara District runners up to Gamini SC, Bandaragama.

While the champion teams of each district competed in the President’s Gold Cup tournament the runners up of each district took part in the President’s Challenge Trophy.

“We don’t have a ground of our own. We play at the Pothupitiya MV ground. We also do not have top national players in our team. On this back drop we cherish this victory as a huge accomplishment,” said an official of the team.

Pothupitiya has been the stronghold of volleyball in the Kalutara District for a long time and Lucky Six has a history which runs back to 1950s. Lucky Six considers B.H. Jayasekara who represented the country in 1954 as its first player to reach international level. Sammy Jayawardena, D. Danapala, Rani Perera (70s), Wimalajeewa Mahindaratne (80s) and Lasantha Abeyratne are some of the players who went on to reach top national level.

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