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President Cup 2020 to end football’s long lay off



Football Federation of Sri Lanka is organising the ‘FFSL President Cup 2020’ in a bid to re-group stakeholders and recommence football action after a long lay off. Top level clubs have not been involved in action for nearly one and half years.

Although lower division competitions and the FA Cup were played, a tournament involving top level clubs had not been competed since mid April 2019. The Easter Sunday bomb attacks, torrential rain in the latter part of 2019 and the covid 19 pandemic since March 2020 are blamed for the long lay off.

“To bring back football atmosphere and to promote football entertainment, FFSL decided to organize an invitational pre-season tournament under the title of ‘FFSL President’s Cup 2020’ and as a platform to scout new talent for national teams,” a FFSL statement said.

The teams for the tournament had been invited based on the points table of the last top tournament.

“The top 24 teams in the country based on last available points table, were invited to take part in this competition. A meeting was summoned on June 30 and representatives from 20 teams were in attendance for this crucial meeting, and it was consented by all teams and officials that those who were present for the meeting to be considered for the event,” the statement further states.

The FFSL is offering financial support to all teams to cover their preparation, participation and traveling costs to reach Colombo for matches.

The matches will be played at the Sugathadasa Stadium and the Race Course International Stadium. All matches will be played without fans adhering to the prevailing health guidelines and regulations.

Instead the FFSL has arranged to live stream selected matches through official YouTube Channel –”Sri Lanka Football TV”.

Teams participating in the tournament are Defenders FC (SL Army FL), Colombo FC (City FL), Blue Star SC (Kalutara FL), Sea Hawks FC (SL Navy FL), Renown SC (City FL), Ratnam SC (Colombo FL), Up Country Lions SC (Nawalapitiya FL), Blue Eagles SC (SL Air Force FL), Red Stars FC (Beruwela FL), New Youngs FC (Wennappuwa FL), Matara City Club (Matara FL), Java Lane SC (City FL), Saunders SC (City FL), SL Police SC (SL Police FL), Serendib SC (Mawanella FL), Crystal Palace FC (Gampola FL), Super Sun SC (Beruwela FL), New Star SC (Colombo FL), SLTB SC (NSSA) and Moragasmulla SC (City FL).


Nethsara scores second century



Under 19 Division I Cricket 

Tharusha Nethsara scored his second century of the tournament and Sithuka Gunawardena and Dasith Senal took three wickets each as Isipatana beat Ananda by 93 runs in the Under 19 Division I limited overs tournament match played at BRC ground on Tuesday.

Nethsara faced 146 balls and scored nine fours and four sixes in his knock and put on a first wicket stand of 134 runs with Naveen Kanishka, who made 47.

In reply to Isipatana’s 241 runs, Ananda were dismissed for 148 as Gunawardena and Senal shared six wickets between them.

At Asgiriya, Rahal Amarasinghe and Theeraka Ranatunga scored less than run a ball half-centuries for Trinity, before the latter produced a four wicket haul for them to register 59 runs win over Nalanda.

In the other match played yesterday, Maliyadewa pulled off eight runs win over St. Anthony’s, Katugastota as Charuka Herath and Gayana Weerasinghe shared seven wickets between them to contain the visitors to 200 runs at Kurunegala.


Isipatana beat Ananda by 93 runs at BRC



241 for 9 in 50 overs (Tharusha Nethsara 113, Naveen Kanishka 47, Kevin Samuel 37, Tharuka Ashel 22; Induwara Wijeratne 2/44, Ayesh Shashimal 2/40)


148 all out in 37.4 overs (Maleesha Perera 45, Iruth Gimsan 30, Induwara Wijeratne 20; Sithuka Gunawardena 3/20, Dasith Senal 3/40, Kevin Samuel 2/23)

Trinity beat Nalanda by 59 runs at Asgiriya

(45-overs a side match)



211 all out in 44.1 overs (Rahal Amarasinghe 57, Theeraka Ranatunga 50, Manula Kularatne 42; Janula Indusara 2/27, Eranga Jayakody 2/39, Vinod Kaldera 2/24, Sajith Vithanage 2/28)


152 all out in 41.5 overs (Rusiru Vilochana 70; Theeraka Ranatunga 4/43, Dinuka Tennakoon 2/17)

Maliyadewa beat St. Anthony’s Katugastota by eight runs at Kurunegala



208 for 6 in 46 overs (Amesh Tennakoon 58, Chamath Hettiarachchi 34, Ushan Bimsara 33n.o.; Kaveesha Piyumal 2/42)

St. Anthony’s

200 all out in 45.5 overs (Mohamed Aaqil 58, Kavindu Heshan 30, Induwara Galapitage 26; Charuka Herath 4/34, Gayana Weerasinghe 3/40, Thavisha Balasooriya 2/35)

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Isuru, Uththara establish new meet records in the 400 metres



Western Province Schools Athletics Championships

by Reemus Fernando

Sprinter Isuru Kaushalya emerged as the strongest contender for the best athlete’s award in the boys’ category of the Western Province Schools Athletics Championships after setting a new meet record in the Under 20 boys’ 400 metres on day three of the event at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Tuesday.

The athlete from Ananda Sastralaya, Matugama clocked 47.4 seconds to establish a new meet record in the Under 20 boys’ 400 metres final yesterday. He was the firm favourite for the title after clocking a notable sub 47 seconds feat at the recently held Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics Championships.

With his notable performance, Kaushalya became the first athlete in history to have clocked sub 48 seconds in the 400 metres at these championships.

The World Junior Championships (2021) participant was also the winner of the 200 metres of that age category as he clocked 21.4 seconds to win on Sunday. He was also among the favourites for the 100 metres title after qualifying for today’s final with a feat of 10.9 seconds. He has not competed at national level in the 100 metres and might skip the final to make space for a specialist sprinter to take a place on the podium.

In the Under 20 girls’ 400 metres Jayeshi Uththara of Holy Cross College, Gampaha slashed more than a second off the existing meet record to win her pet event. Uththara who has turned tables on her senior counterparts at national level competitions won the title with comprehensive ease as she clocked 55.9 seconds to win.

In the Under 18 boys’ 400 metres, Thurstan’s Salamuthu Jayathilaka clocked 48.6 seconds to win, while Shehani Wijetunga of Ave Maria Convent Negombo won the first place in the corresponding girls’ event with a feat of 58.4 seconds. She was also the winner of the 200 metres on Sunday.

Shalomi Rashni of Lyceum Wattala won the Under 16 girls’ 400 metres in a time of 59.9 seconds. Oshada Jayamanne won the Under 16 boys’ 400 metres for St. Benedict’s when he clocked 51.1 seconds.

The results of other events held yesterday were not available for media.

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When rugby ace Lanil travelled from Passara to Colombo and back for national team practices



Lalin Tennakoon (sporting white sweat band) at the Rugby 7’s game in Hong Kong.

by Harischandra Gunaratna

Former Sri Lanka Rugby captain Lanil Tennakoon in an interview with The Island said that he was compelled to ride his 650cc BSA motorcycle from Passara to Colombo and back covering nearly 450 km to attend national team practices.

He said that he had to be at Longdon Place by 4.30 pm for practices and back at work at Passara to supervise the tea manufacture and plucking the following morning.

Lanil who was attached to Gonakelle Estate in Passara had to endure the rigorous routine because his boss was a very strict administrator who was not supportive of sports and refused to release his Sinnadorai (Assistant Superintendent) for rugger practices even if it was at National level.

Reminiscing his childhood, Lanil said that he inherited his love for sports from his late father John Tennakoon who represented St. Anthony’s College Katugastota at boxing and cricket and later the Police.

Lanil had to move from Trinity College, Kandy to Kalutara Vidyalaya when he was nine years old as his father was poted as HQI of the Kalutara South Police Station. He recalls, playing with a rugger ball and kicking the ball in the compound of the HQI’s quarters at Ferry Road, Kalutara North during the two years he was at Kalutara. On being re-admitted to Trinity College he attended rugger practices religiously but never made it to the College first XV.

Captaining his house rugby team was the highest achievement during his school days.

Lanil joins the select band of Trinitians who donned the Sri Lanka jersey without representing the school. Others are Willie Ratnavale, Dr. Tony de Sylva and Y.C. Chang.

The burly second rower said that he was not the only Trinitian to don the Sri Lanka jersey without representing the alma mater.

Lanil received his baptism to club rugby after he was chosen to play for the leading planters club, Dickoya Maskeliya Cricket Club team in the hills, led by Bede Johnpullai in 1971 and later represented Dimbulla, Uva, Kandy SC, Havelocks and CH & FC. He also captained the Up Country XV against visiting foreign teams.

He was known for his bone jarring tackles, and brilliant place kicking and he was a regular in both the national XV and 7’s rugger teams.

Lalin with wife Sandra.

Lanil a place kicker with a bull’s eye has contributed with his boot for many a victory during his long rugby career and he celebrated 50 years as a rugby player last year. His crowning glory came when he was appointed as captain of the Sri Lanka XV and 7’s in 1980. He led the Sri Lanka teams that year at Hong Kong Sevens and Rugby Asiad in Taiwan.

Many sports enthusiasts are unaware that Tennakoon was a fiery fast bowler and represented the CCC in the Daily News Trophy games. The team included former All-Ceylon cricket captain C.I. Guanasekera and former national cap Channa Gunasekera among others. He played cricket until the day CH rugby coach Darley Ingelton saw him bowling to the Sri Lanka poolists including Duleep Mendis practicing at the CCC nets where he had to attend rugger practices and read him the riot act and said “Young man you have to chose either cricket or rugby”

Lanil Tennakoon the sports star married his sweetheart, former Good

Sheppered Convent, Kandy athlete Sandra Bertus and they have three children Devaka, Yoshini and Devshan, the eldest Devaka following the father’s footsteps is also a tea planter.

Tennakoon had a 5 ½ year stint in Mozambique and Rwanda imparting his expertise to the plantation companies and now in his 70’s continues his tea planting career at Powysland Estate in Dayagama.

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