Madumali played key role in Seetha Devi’s success…

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Seetha Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Kandy, has been winning trophies after trophies after trophies in the schools hockey circuit and a silent contributor towards their success in their right back Madumali Karunatillake and her name hardly hits the headlines or even is mentioned. It is the scorer of goals who gets the credit but the hard work done by the back division is not rewarded by even good words.

Story is the same with rugby the good defence and regaining of possession from the opponents and feeding the ball to the forwards does not find merit. In the game of rugby the back division has a good chance of scoring but not in hockey which is s preserve of the forwards.

This writer could well remember in a closely contested rugby match a Fijian World Cup Sevens player representing a Colombo Club was seen jinxing his way to the goal line making a mockery of Kandy’s defence and he had only full back Nigel Ratwatte to beat but met his Waterloo here as Nigel Ratwatte brought him down with a crash tackle. The somewhat dazed Fijian looked at the little David who brought down the Goliath. While the Fijian was applauded there was hardly anything for Nigel Ratwatte.

Madumali Karunatillake falls into a case like this and she is just 17 years and has been playing for the school since she was 10 years and blooded into the under 19 team when 13.

Her performance has been many for her school which is too long to mention. This year she was a member of the Seetha Devi Girls college team which were consolation winners in the all island under 19 schools championship. She played a crucial role in the schools winning the Central Province under 19 champions helped the team to defeat St Anthony’s Girls College which only a few weeks earlier had won the all island title. She was in the Seetha Devi Girls College team which won the Seetha Devi Sevens and the Royal College ‘Black and Gold sevens. She played for the Davians Sports Club which finished runners up in the Kandy District inter club hockey championship and was among the four school girls who made up the Kandy District womens hockey team which became Central Province Champions. The rest being all national players. The other three school girls being centre half Charuka Abeyratne, full back Thamali Dissanayake, and centre forward Tharaki Paranagama – all on the brink of winning national or representative honours.

Madhumali Karunatillake is a very intelligent and a good reader of the game. When the ball passes the centre line her eyes are glued on the ball with a ‘Hawk’s Eye’ The in roads made by the opponents is closely watched by her before she sails into attack and feeds the ball to the forwards.

It is not easy to get past this strongly built player and the opponents often use the other flank to get inside the semi circles. She is affectionately known as ‘Police’ for her ability to arrest intruder in her own territory.

A very soft spoken and a very friendly girl and she has a passion for motor cars apart from hockey. She is also the Deputy Sports Captain of the school. She hails from the village of Weligalla along the Kandy-Gampola road. She hopes to continue her hockey and end up playing for the country.

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