CP supreme at hockey
Central Province clinched a double by winning both men’s and women’s hockey titles at the 41st National Sports Festival. They beat Western Province 2-1 after a close fight in the men’s final worked off at the Astro Turf Colombo yesterday. At half time Central Province mens led 2-0.
The Central Province started the game on a winning note when veteran centre forward and former National Captain Dhammika Abeyratne slammed two goals in quick succession to boost the morale of the team. A penalty corner midway saw Tilina Perera made good use of it to score, which reduced the lead to 1-2
But many attempts to score by Western Province was thwarted by central Province goal keeper I. E. K. R. Willawarachchi who brought of many saves to bag the Best Player award. The Best Players award in the ladies tournament went to Madura Dharmaratne of Central Province.
North Western Province won the consolation championship beating Uva Province 3-1 after leading 2/1 at half time. K. K. U. D. Fernando (1), W. V. D. Fernando (1), and B. A. D. R. S. Nimanka (1), scored for North Western Province. E. G. P. S. Premaratne scored for Uva Province.
CP bag women’s title
Central Province ladies hockey team trounce Western Province team by 7 goals to nil to clinch the women hockey title for the 25 time at the 41 National Sports Festival. At lemon Central Province ladies led 3-nil. Central Province scored 31 goals in 3 matches averaging over 10 goals per match.
They did not concede a single goal as their custodian Jeewanthika Keerthi also was outstanding not allowing anything get past.
The central Province team beat Eastern Province 14-0 in the opener and followed up with a 10-0 win over Northern Province in the semi finals.
Central Province skipper Pradeeepa Nilmini Nadasena led her side from the front using her forwards to break the opponents’ defence with centre forwards Yamuna Wijesuriya and Chathurika Wijesuriya doing the spade work. Right back Geethani Abeyratne too displayed her class by spoiling the moves of their opponents.
Left extreme Thusanthika Themiyadasa kept the score board moving when a push by Pradeepa Nilmini was well collected by her to sound the boards. Another back to boack goal by Thusanthika helped to increase the lead to 2-0.
Centre half Madura Dharmaratne scored the third goal for Central Province to lead 3-0 at the breather.
Soon after resumption the Central Province team with the inclusion of back Geethani was rabbing salt into the wounds of their opponents. They scored twice through some brilliant stick work by National skipper and centre forward Madhushani Jayanthi to increase the lead to 5-0.
During the dying stages of the game centre forward Chathurika Premasiri put the icing on the cake scoring two more goals to assure their victory. Earlier in the semi finals central Province Thrashed Northern Province by 10 goals to nil.
Two cousins playing as centre forward Chathurika Wijesuriay and Yamuna Wijesuriya struck a brilliant note to score three goals each. The others to sound the boards were Madura Dharamartne (1), Anandi Rajapakse (1), and Madhushani Jayanethi (2) who is also the highest scorer of goals in the tournament and celebrated her engagement with this achievement.