Royal regain E.F.C. Pereira Challenge Trophy

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By 2017-10-18

The 13th Annual Tennis encounter between fellow rivals Royal College and S. Thomas' College last weekend, saw Royal College successfully edging out S. Thomas' College 3/2 to clinch the title. The tally thus moves to 9/4 in favour of Royal.

Royal had successfully won the trophy continuously the first 7 years, before STC recorded their first win in 2012. STC were able to retain the trophy consecutively for two more years running, until Royal claimed it back in 2015. Last year, once more, STC were able to regain some of their lost pride in a closely contested match to win 3 matches to 2 and claim victory.

Royal this year was led by Mihindu Samarasinghe and STC by Avindra Perera, the current national junior champion and Davis Cup poolist. Despite prevailing bad weather conditions, the tie got off as planned with the first singles played between Davis Cup poolist Avindra Perera (STC) playing Kavisha Ratnayake (RC). In the first doubles Avika Kelegama and Dhilvan Herath (RC) were drawn against Rakesh Ratnasingham & Akira Perera (STC). Avindra pulled off his singles match to push STC into a 1 nil lead at the onset, but Royal made it 1/1 with Avika and Dhilvan winning their doubles match.

The next doubles and singles saw the RC pair of Mihidu Samarasinghe and Senal Hemakumara getting the better of Dulitha Ellawala and Vihan Herath (STC), while Avindra's brother Shivendra (STC) won a hard-fought battle over Royal vice-captain Nadil Silva in the singles and once again the tie was deadlocked at 2-2. This brought the battle right to the wire with Thehan Wijemanne (RC) taking on Akil Ismail (STC) in the decider. To the delight of the large Royal gathering, Thehan pulled off the decider to win back the trophy in favour of Royal. Both teams showed great skill and fighting spirit to bring it right down to a tie break! However, in the end it was the Reid Avenue boys that triumphed to bring back the glory lost last year.

The winning RC team comprised of: Mihindu Samarasinghe (Capt.), Nadil Silva (VC), Kavisha Ratnayake, Avika Kelegama, Dilvan Herath, Thehan Wijemanne, Senal Hemakumara, Venushka De Silva and Januda Jayasekera. The team was coached by Prasanna Athauda and Jaliya Yasaratne was the master-in-charge.

Former STC tennis captain Shehan Meegama was the Chief Guest at the event. Principal of RC B.A. Abeyratne together with the former SLTA President and old Royalist D.L. Seneviratne, were also among the distinguished guests who graced this occasion and presented the Challenge Trophy.

In the under 15 event Royal came out victorious with a 3/0 win, while in the under 13 event STC came out on top with a 3/0 victory.

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