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85th Battle of the Saints encounter ends in tame draw


85th Battle of the Saints encounter ends in tame draw

Posted on 03 March 2019 by admin


The 85th edition of the traditional Josephian-Peterite annual cricket encounter was played on Friday, March 1st & Sat. March 2nd, 2019. The 'SAINTS' went marching in for another confrontation on familiar hunting grounds – the P. Sara Oval, competing for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Challenge Trophy. Both teams had fared reasonably well during the Inter-School cricket season and there was an aura of excitement leading up to the game. The school by the Beira was led by Ashain Daniel, an off-spinner of repute. The school by the Wellawatta Canal was led by lanky Ranmith Jayasena, 4th year, who had amassed over 700 runs with two centuries.

The two prestigious Catholic institutions will battle hard for the RevFr Maurice Le Goc trophy, an encounter which began way back in 1933 with St. Joseph’s College winning the inaugural clash. RevFr Maurice Le Goc was the rector of both institutions and the trophy for the ‘Big match’ is named in his He first served at St. Joseph’s College and then went on to become the first rector at St. Peter’s College. Going by archived history, the Josephians started playing cricket in 1898 while St. Peter's College had its baptism to cricket in 1928. Henry A.  Silva and Norman Paternott were the first captains of SJC and SPC respectively. The Josephian-Peterite encounter had its baptism in 1933. The  of captaining the inaugural Josephian-Peterite Encounter in 1933 fell on Robert Fernando – St. Joseph's College and George Jayaweera – St. Peter's College. 

The Josephian-Peterite Series between two of the leading Roman Catholic institutions have produced few wins in the eighty-five years with the Josephians winning 12 'Big Matches' and the Peterites – 10, while 63 have ended in 'no-decision'. St. Joseph’s College last won under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle in 2008 while St. Peter’s College recorded their last win in 2016 under the leadership of Vinu Mohotty.

The game is played over 2-days with a 60-over cap or limit in the first innings for each team. The first innings being restricted to 60 overs will once again spice up the match with a total of 210 overs scheduled to be bowled over the course of two days.  Despite the limit on a decision has been wanting with 74 per cent of the games in the series ending in a draw. This has prompted this writer to suggest a review of the structure of the game. It is best to explore the possibility of playing over three days with a limit of 75-overs in the first innings only. We have seen revolutionary changes in history, such as the destruction of the "Berlin Wall", introduction of limited over cricket (ODI & T20) and many others. So why not change the format of the "Battle of the Saints".

The general logistics connected with organizing and planning the event have reached another level with a Joint Organizing Committee comprising 'Old Boys' from both schools working hard in unison to cover all bases and provide a pleasant environment for the spectators who join in the festivities. Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel (Rector, SJC) and Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin (Rector, SPC) are both heavily engaged in the pre-game planning and provides insightful leadership to ensure the event takes place inclusive of the values established by the pioneers who started this historical cricket match in 1933.

85th Encounter Match Update on March 1&2, 2019

  The coin toss was won by Josephian skipper Ashain Daniel, who elected to field first. The Peterites scored 219 runs in the mandatory 60 overs. Dinith Anjula, 41, Santhush Gunathilake, 72, Rankith Jayasena, 21, Nipunaka Fonseka, 21, Wanuja Sahan, 26, helped boost the score.   , top scoring for the Peterites with 72 runs coming in at #3. He and  Anjula were associated in a productive 59-run partnership. The run-rate was 3.65 per over and the Peterites fell short by about 21 runs that would have made it a good total. Skipper Ashain Daniel bowled best taking 3 for 58. 

In reply, the Josephians got off to a splendid star with openers Shevon Fonseka, 35, and Johanne  Zilva, 45, putting on 72 runs for the opening wicket. However, a quick turnaround saw Kanishka Maduwantha take two wickets in 2 balls sending De Zilva and Shevon Daniel back to the pavilion. This brought out Dineth Jayakody and Dilesh Perera to stem the Josephian innings with an entertaining stand of 115 runs for the fourth wicket.  77 runs laced with six fours and two sixes (in 110 balls) before he was bowled by Shivan Perera. Perera scored 62 inclusive of six fours and a one six. 19 in 15 balls) and Sachintha Mahindasinghe (22 in 15 balls) chipped in with 19 and 22 runs respectively. The Josephians raced to a strong 286/8 in their allotted 60 overs on second day's play, as the Josephians secured a crucial 67 run lead. 

Facing a deficit of 67 runs, the Josephians fought back reducing the Peterites to 88 for five wickets and then 106 for six wickets in the 2nd innings. Skipper Ashian Daniel, Lakshan Gamage, Ashan and Shalinda Senaviratne were responsible for the early damage as as three batsmen lost their wickets without reaching double figures. The Petes had just had taken a lead of 39 runs when their sixth wicket fell in the second innings well before tea. The Joes were in a comfortable position at this stage and staring at a possible win. But this was not to be – fought back. Former skipper Santhush Gunathilaka161*, and Kanishka Maduwantha89*, defied the Josephian attack and a possible win,


  • Cricket Encounter inaugurated in 1933;
  • Robert Fernando led St. Joseph's College in 1933;
  • George Jayaweera led St. Peter's College in 1933;
  • The highest individual score in a 'big match' is 204 runs scored by Clive Inman in 1954;
  • Best bowling figures of 9 for 41 in an inning held by Shenal Warnakula of St. Joseph's College in 1997;
  • Highest team score for St. Joseph's College is 382 under the Captaincy of Ken Serpanchy in 1952;
  • Highest team score for St. Peter's College is 345 under the captaincy of Percy Perera in 1938;
  • Lowest team score for St. Joseph's College is 56 in 1938 under the captaincy of Edward Markus;
  • Lowest team score for St. Peter's College is 36 in 1972 under the captaincy of Roy Dias;
  • The highest aggregate of runs in a 'big match' – 233  by Santhush Gunathilake in 2019 (72 + 161 = 233);
  • The highest partnership for any wicket in a 'big match' – 219 by Fred Pereira and David Arndt for St. Joseph's College in 1934.

  Record partnerships


  •  Kanishka Maduwantha and Santhush Gunathilake added an unbroken 211 runs for the 7th wicket as they broke a number of records in the process. The 211 partnership was the all-time highest partnership for any wicket for the Peterites as the duo eclipsed the record of 182 set by Clive Inman, 204 (Retd.) and Kenneth Duckworth, 59, (6th wicket) in the year 1954. 
  • An old record is still standing. Fred Perera, 114 not out and David Arndt, 110 for St. Joseph's hold the record for the highest partnership for any wicket when the pair made 219 runs 1934 in the 2nd encounter of the Josephian-Peterite series. ​​
  • Santhush Gunathilake’s 2019 match aggregate of 233 runs (72 + 161) is the highest match aggregate in the entire series. This record was previously held by Rohan Buultjens of St. Peter's College who had a match aggregate of 209 runs (100 + 109) in 1979.
  • Santhush Gunathilake created another Peterite record when he went past the season tally of 1547 runs in a season held by Angelo Perera in 2009.



St. Peter's College – Dinith Anjula, Banuka De Silva, Santhush Gunathilaka, Ranmith Jayasena (Captain), Nipunaka Fonseka, Shivaan Perera, Shannon Fernando, Kanishka Maduwantha, Wanuja Sahan, Ruvin Senevirathne, Tariq Saboor.

St. Joseph's College – Sheran Fonseka, Johanne De Zilva, Shevon Daniel, Dineth Jayakody, Dunith Wellalage, Dilesh Perera, Sachintha Mahindasinghe, Lakshan Gamage, Ashain Daniel (Captain), Ashan De Alwis, Shalinda Senevirathne


Match Summary & Award Winners
St Joseph’s College drew with St Peter’s College in the 85th Battle of the Saints Cricket encounter played at the P Sara Oval.

St Peter’s College 1st Innings 219 all out in 60 overs
2 for 38, Ashan 2 for 43, Ashian Daniel 3 58

St Joseph’s College 1st Innings 286 for 8 in 60 overs
Johanne de Zilva 45, Sheran Fonseka 37, Dineth Jayakody 77, Dilesh Perera 62, Sachintha Mahindasinghe 22

St Peter’s College 2nd Innings 317 for 6 in 79 overs at
Daniel 2 65

  • Man of the Match Santhush Gunatilleke (SPC)
  • Best All Rounder Kanishka Maduwantha (SPC)
  • Best Batsman Santhush Gunatilleke (SPC)
  • Best Bowler Ashian Daniel (SJC)
  • Best Fielder Sheran Fonseka (SJC)



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85th "Battle of the Saints": Teams equally balanced, keen tussle on the cards

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85th “Battle of the Saints”: Teams equally balanced, keen tussle on the cards

Posted on 26 February 2019 by admin

Courtesy: By M. Shamil Amit – Sunday Times.

All roads for the young and of the two premier Catholic schools in Colombo–St. Joseph’s and St. Peter’s will lead to the P. Sara Stadium as their two teams march on to the cricket field for annual “Battle of the Saints” encounter which is the 85th in the series on March 1 and 2.

St. Peter’s College Team 2019

From the 84 encounters fought out for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc Memorial Trophy that has been played so far the Josephians lead the series with 12 wins their last win in 2008 under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle while have ten wins having won the encounter in 2016 under Vinu Mohottti thanks to the sportsmanship of St. Joseph’s rector, Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel, who awarded the win to St. Peter’s due to the crowd when the Peterites was on the verge of winning the game.

However, this time out a keen tussle could be witnessed due to the fact that the two teams are evenly balanced and having undergone fluctuated fortunes and also neither of the two is unbeaten.

According to the form of the two teams this season, the led by Ranmith Jayasena have played14 matches recording two outright wins against President’s Kotte and Lumbini MV but they had a setback a few days ago when they were defeated by Mahinda in the Under 19 pre-quarter final.

On the hand the Josephians led by Sri Lanka youth player Ashian Daniel too cannot be satisfied with their performance and from the 16 matches they have played they recorded four outright wins against St. Patrick’s Jaffna, Gurukula MV Kelaniya, St. Sylvester’s and Devapathiraja MMV Rathgama whilst undergoing two outright defeats to Maris Stella and St. Anthony’s Katugastota.

The cynosure of all eyes in this encounter is no doubt going to be Santhusha Gunatileke the last year captain of St. Peter’s. terrific form and having missed out on reaching the 1000 runs for two successive years, he achieved the feat this season as he has accumulated nearly 1200 runs which includes a double ton of unbeaten 242 against Ananda, five tons and four half tons.

The Peterites will no doubt be looking forward for a fine performance from this batsman in form and Santhush will be aiming to end the season on a high note. To support him skipper Ranmith who has scored over 630 runs inclusive of two tons and four half tons along with deputy skipper Nimnaka Fonseka, Bhanuka Silva, Dinith Anjula, Shivan Perera and Shannon Fernando are the other players to take note of the side.

The Peterite bowling will revolve around two bowlers Kanishka Maduwantha who is their top wicket taker this season with 54 scalps that includes seven five wicket hauls and Ruvin Seneviratne who has taken 47 wickets.

The pair will be expecting the support from Santhush, Tariq Saboor and Shivan Perera who together share 75 wickets between them along with skipper Ranmith.

The Josephians have a host of batsmen in their team who could be a thorn in the flesh for the Peterite bowlers in the likes of Dineth Jayakody who is their leading run scorer of the side with 535 runs, deputy skipper Johanne Ziva  (427), Shevon Daniel (416), Sheran Fonseka (398), Sachintha Ravindu (376) and Dunith Wellalage (302).

The Josephian bowling attack has been in the hands of Salinda Senaviratne who is the leading wicket taker with 67 wickets to his credit and Miranga Wickramage who has taken 28 wickets. Apart from the duo skipper Wellalage who has been unable to make any impression so far and Lakshan Gamage will have to support them for the Josepians to control the Peterite batting.

Nevertheless, for any school traditional encounter is something special and as mentioned even though the Josephians are coming into the game having the edge, they cannot afford to take the Peterities lightly, as in the past the underdogs have come out on top and likewise the two teams’ posses’ talented players which is one of the that it could be anybody’s game.

The two day encounter will be followed by the 45th limited over encounter which is played for the Fr. Peter A. Pillai trophy which is scheduled to be played on March 23 at SSC ground. In this segment too the Josephians are leading with 22 wins who were the winners last year the 20 by the Peterites with two matches being washed out.

St. Joseph’s College Team 2019







St. Joseph’s
Ashian Daniel (Captain), Johannne de Zilva, Shevon Daniel, Dunith Wellalage, Lakshan Gamage, Sheran Fonseka, Dineth Jayakody, Miranga Wickramage, Salinda Seneviratne, Shevaan Rasool, Dilesh Perera, Savhinda Ravindu, Dinal Anuradha, Ashan de Alwis, Mithira Thenura, Rishitha Perera, Yesith Rupasinghe.
St. Peter’s
Ranmith Jayasena (Captain, Nipunaka Fonseka, Santhush Gunatileke, Kanishka Maduwantha, Shivan Perera, Tariq Saboor, Dinith Anjula, Ruwin Seneviratne, Shannon Fernando, Bhanuka de Silva, Wanuja Sahan, Prabasara Herath, Trisehan Wickramasinghe, Vinuda Liayange, Himsara Randeni, Lashen Rodrigo, Rishika Dawatage, Shenal Boteju

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Unbeaten 252-runs by Santhush Gunathilaka V. Ananda College is highest individual score for St. Peter's College since 1927


Unbeaten 252-runs by Santhush Gunathilaka V. Ananda College is highest individual score for St. Peter’s College since 1927

Posted on 06 January 2019 by admin

St. Peter's College was established in 1922 and launched its first cricket team in 1927, captained by Norman Paternott when the team played friendly unofficial games. The Paternott family played a major role in cricket and rugby in later years when Norman Paternott's three sons – Aubrey, Rodney and Hemish went on to captain their alma mater in cricket and rugby in the sixties and seventies. A proud record for the remarkable Paternott family.

The inaugural Josephian-Peterite 'big-match' was played in 1933 and George Jayaweera had the distinction of leading the Peterites in this game. Later, Jayaweera's sons Tissa and Shanthi represented St. Peter's College in cricket while a third son Asitha Jayaweera captained Royal College. This once again is a proud record for the talented Jayaweera family.

Given this background, on Saturday, January 5th (2019) young Santhush Gunathilaka, last year Peterite skipper, covered himself with glory when he clobbered the Anandians in their Inter-School U-19 Cricket Match by scoring an unbeaten 252 runs. With this monstrous feat, Gunathilaka became the highest individual scorer for the Peterites in their 92-year history – a gigantic achievement in today's day and age. Gunathilaka's awesome score of 252 runs surpassed the previous record held by Angelo Perera – 239-runs in 2009 against Nalanda College. The other double-century scores on record for the Peterites are that of 1963 skipper Tyrone Le Mercier's unbeaten 235 against St. Anthony's College Kandy and 1954 skipper Clive Inman's unbeaten 204 against St. Joseph's College in the 'Big Match'. Inman, Le Mercier, Perera and Gunathilaka have etched their names in history at St. Peter's College, established in 1922. The accomplishments of these legendary players are indelibly etched into Peterite cricket history for all time, to be sure, but their names grace sportsdom’s most cherished chalice forever.

Photo credits of above image: Sujith Silva – Quadrangle.

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Old Peterite living in Toronto, Canada


SPC V. Ananda College U-19 Inter-Schools Cricket – Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Ananda College Grounds:

Santhush Gunathilaka

Records tumbled at Ananda Mawatha as Peterite batsman Santhush Gunathilaka scored an unbeaten 252 against Ananda College which is the highest individual score for St.Peter's College Colombo 04 since 1927 erasing the previous record held by Angelo Perera (239 in 2009). On his way, he also surpassed a 67-year-old record held by Dr. H.I.K Fernando (1951/52 skipper) – 165-runs in 1952, that was the prevailing highest score by a Peterite against Ananda College. Gunathilaka's 252 not out is also the highest by a visiting 1st XI Cricketer at Ananda College grounds and also the highest individual score (1st XI) against Ananda College by any player from any school. A rare achievement that deserves merit.

St. Peter’s College took honours in the drawn encounter against Ananda College which concluded today at Ananda College Grounds in Colombo. The highlight of the match was the magnificent double-century scored by right-handed batsman Santhush Gunathilaka for St. Peter’s College. Thanks to his record-breaking unbeaten 252 runs, the visitors put up a massive score of 423 runs on the board before declaring their innings. Gunathilaka’s knock of 252 runs came off 243 balls including 29 fours and 8 massive sixes. Ranmith Jayasena (80) and Bhanuka de Silva (63) gave good support to Gunathilaka at the other end with useful contributions with the bat. The Ananda College batsmen began their second innings 210 runs behind and were struggling at 166 runs for 7 wickets when umpires called stumps.

Brief scores

Ananda College – 213 (63.3) Kavindu Gimhana 53, Janindu Jayawardane 48, Kalana Wijesiri 33, Daminda Reshan 27, Ruvin Senevirathne 4/48, Santhush Gunathilaka 3/46 & 166/7 (52) Kanishka Ranthilakage 90, Kavindu Gimhana 31, Kanishka Maduwantha 2/49, Ranmith Jayasena 3/13, Ruvin Senevirathne 2/55

St. Peter’s College – 423/3d (74) Santhush Gunathilaka 252*, Bhanuka de Silva 63, Ranmith Jayasena 80

Result – Match Drawn (St. Peter’s College won first innings points)

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Posted on 30 June 2018 by admin

Tournament favourites St. Joseph’s College were grounded to a screeching halt by a juggernaut of a Peterite set of forwards that were unstoppable in the Milo Trophy knock-out inter school rugby final under floodlights at the Race Course ground in Colombo yesterday.

Perhaps the Joes did not bargain for such an unbelievable drive by a heavier pack from St. Peter’s College who proved they had what was needed to win a high intensity final with a 22-20 triumph after trailing 5-17 in the first half.

It appeared that the Peterites had woken up from their slumber with the pundits wanting to know by what margin the Joes will eventually win in what was a bonus Battle of the Saints match that marked the first time in history that the two schools met in a major final.

There was only one side that played in the first half as the Joes capitalized on what would have easily been a most lethargic show by the Peterites who could not unleash a single tackle to cripple the opposition that resulted in the defending champions scoring their only two tries without a contest when third row forward Tharindu de Alwis and winger Gemunu Cheitiya crossed the line for tries virtually unchallenged.

Both tries were virtual gifts, scored after the Peterites failed to clear a missed penalty kick from Joes player Santhush Algama followed by full-back Shehan Liyanapathirana failing to collect a high ball from which play-maker Gemunu Cheitiya brushed away three defenders to touch down.

But the Peterites just when all seemed to have been lost, rose to the occasion like a giant to produce rolling maul after rolling maul which the Joes could not counter or sustain for most of the second half.

Peterite prop Julian Charles made merry like never before as he waltzed over the line to score twice and neutralize the Joes into submission for once this season.

Both schools may have much in common but it was one man, the crafty and battle hardened pint-sized scrum half Jason Karunaratne who made an envious difference when he initiated what was to become the match winning try.

Sensing the Joes forwards were kept preoccupied in countering the rolling maul he out-foxed the defence when referee Praneeth Veharanga ordered the ball to be used as he crept through on the blind side like a disturbed serpent to send his unmarked fly-half Kenneth Wimaladasa over the line to score.

Wimaladasa missed converting the previous three tries but he made the most precious kick of the season when he landed the conversion right between the posts to his own try three minutes before the end to send the Peterite supporters into a celebratory frenzy. Winger Shenol Silva also joined the party as another try-scorer. 


Sunday Times account of Joe-Pete Rugby 2018


Sunday Times account of Joe-Pete Rugby 2018

Posted on 03 June 2018 by admin

St. Peter’s slip the ball at the pearly gate

By Abdullah Shahnawaz – Courtesy: The Sunday Times.

Joes regain Fr. Basil Wiratunga trophy.


St. Joseph's scored twice back-to-back early in the game and went on with 14 men to beat the Petes – Pic by M.A. Pushpakumara

St. Joseph’s College slid and slipped through to claim a 10-5 win over St. Peter’s College in a rain-peppered encounter at Longdon Place yesterday. As for the Petes — their chances of winning the league were ruined all because of one slipped try under the posts.

St. Joseph’s managed to score two tries while holding their rivals to just one. All three tries went unconverted.

Heavy rain before the match left the ground muddied. The game was slow. Both teams relied on their forwards to charge on, as it drizzled ceaselessly.

Joes’ Tharindu Maduranga scored the first try in the opening ten minutes off a Peterite scrum. This came right after Josephs’ knocked on at the try line. Fly-half Santhush Algama missed the conversion.

St. Joseph’s dominated possession in the first fifteen minutes with the Peterites barely making any effective move.

The second try for Joseph’s came a short while later. Shevon Gregory scored it off an offload on the open end of the field.

The Peterites got into the game in after the first twenty minutes. A few threatening moves were made by the three quarters off passes from the ruck, but a wet field, slippery ball, and a tight Joes’ defence prevented any scoring.

The Bambalapitiya side picked up speed amidst a slow game and scored their first try off a line-out. Kenneth Wimaladasa scored the try.

Peters’ got their second chance in the closing minutes of the first half. It was Kenneth Wimaladasa, again, who dashed down the centre of an open field off a scrum. However, the wet ball rolled out off his fingers at the try line. The fans were furious.

As the game resumed after the break Peters’ dominated it entirely on the attack. They worked the ball with the forwards throughout; with lose breaks by the three-quarters. The Joesphian defence met this strongly, leaving a scoreless second half.

Despite the expected tensions in a decisive match, and the Joe-Pete rivalry, the game was played in good spirits mostly. The Joes’ win spelt the end of the Peterite unbeaten streak. Josephs’ now have 15 wins against their rivals’ 40, in the Friar Basil Wiratunga Shield.

Match referee: Aaqil Jamaldeen


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The Story of the Peterite 1st XV Rugby Team 2018 - By: Hamza Hidayathullah


The Story of the Peterite 1st XV Rugby Team 2018 – By: Hamza Hidayathullah

Posted on 03 June 2018 by admin

The Story of the Peterite 1st XV Rugby Team 2018

By Hamza Hidayathullah

“Not every moment is going to be fireworks. Sometimes it takes a million little sparks to create a full-blown explosion” – Author Unknown

From the moment that final whistle was blown by Referee Dinka Peiris on 18th June 2017 at the Sugathadasa Stadium in the President’s trophy semi-final against Isipathana, this story began to unfold.  After being placed 6th in the schools’ rugby league last year, many rugby loving pundits wrote the Peterites off completely with no hopes of a big title in the coming years.

After 2010, St. Peter’s College, Colombo had managed to grab a few trophies in the schools’ circuit which included the All Island and Western Province Sevens tournaments on a few occasions including the Super Rugby sevens title in the year 2016. During this time frame, the journey had ups and downs while having a few close calls in the President’s Trophy knock-out Semi Finals against Trinity, Science and Isipathana in the years 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

When the management of St. Peter’s College decided to hire Sri Lanka’s most successful schools’ Rugby coach, a veteran, Mr. Sanath Martis, in the latter part of last year, he stated very clearly that he could not do wonders in an year, but the year 2018 will be the rebuilding phase for the Peterite Rugby for coming years.

After undergoing a knee surgery in Australia, the appointed captain Master Javed Zarook ‘s team had no stars or play makers, but had a set of boys who wanted to put their heads down, train hard and walk in to the season, match by match. He also lost the deputy who had to give up the game due to an injury and for personal reasons, before the season began.

Just before their first game against Zahira, the skipper felt something was not right with his knee, but bore that pain within and played the match at Havies to kick off the 87th Rugby season for Peterite Rugby. The Peterite Centre, Ravin Fernando scored a hat-trick of tries to give the Bamba Brigade their first win of the season 48-12.

In the game against the Double Blues, Wesley College again at Havelock Park the following week, Wesley struck early in the game but the Peterites managed to find their momentum in the second half to beat the Westlyites comfortably 33 to 17. They did not allow the opponents to score a single point in the second half but, the Peterite centre Ravin Fernando suffered a nasty ankle fracture ending his season.

They started their 3rd game without Javed Zarook who opted to be “benched” due to his troublesome knee and he ended up not playing or starting many games from that point. His deputy Mark Assauw led the team well with his 6’1” frame, centre three quarter, Sandesh De Mel went on to score his first hat-trick in the game against the mighty Rajans at Police Park to completely outplay the Kandy team 42-5. The footballer turned rugby player Shehan Liyanapathirana had a 100% success rate in this game and began to lead the highest points scorer’s table for 2018.

The green machines at Havelock park geared up to host the Bamba Brigade the following week in front of packed house. This game was a grudge battle between the two schools and it was a well-known secret that the team which was both mentally and physically prepared, will pull off the game. The Peterite Centre Sandesh was stretchered off with a bad blow to his elbow and was done with, for the season. Having led 15-6 at the lemons, the Peterites pulled off a morale boosting victory with little Jason Karunaratne scoring a try in the last minute, chasing a kick by Shehan Liyanapathirana.

By this time, it was quite evident that the Peterites were dominating the games with their forwards than backs as Sanath Martis and his assistants Banuka Nanayakkara and Rajiv Perera were hatching their next plot. With the best yet to come, many were now starting to sit up and take notice of the boys from Bamba and recognising them as strong contenders to the league title.

The final match in the first round was played at Havies once again with DSS – known and the Dons – hosting the Petes in an all-important fixture. After the Dons had given a scare to the Green Machine by losing that game by a whisker, the real test came for our forwards. With DSS scoring a try early, the Peterite scrum half, Jason scored two quick tries back to back to rattle the Dons’ defence and in the end the Petes went on to win the game 43 points to 7.

The second round began with more bad news in the Peterite camp with their deputy Mark Assauw spraining his ankle in training that week. So, the Bamba Brigade travelled up to Kandy for first time in the season with only one player from last year’s starting line-up against the same opponent, with Jason Karunarathne taking the baton as the captain. Though the wounded Trinity Lions woke up in the last 20 mins, the Peterites held on strong to win the game 28 to 21 scoring 4 goals and earning a bonus point to boot, retaining the Late General Deshamanya Denis Perera Trophy for the 4th consecutive year.

With the monsoon rains begun, the country experienced continuous heavy downfalls as the Peterites went on to face the gutsy Kingswood team who were the most improved side of the league with some super individual performances by the Randles Hill lads. This was the first time that the Bamba Boys were tested on muddy and wet underfoot conditions, courtesy the weather gods. But in the end Petes pipped the Kings 20 to 10, taking two important penalties in the second half.

Seven games were done and dusted and the Peterite enjoyed an unbeaten season in the first round of the league, winning their seven games. Now the season got hotter with 4 contenders for the league title and the league due to end in two weeks.

The brothers from Darley road hosted their younger brothers, St. Peter’s College at CR Grounds next for the Rugby big match played for the Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunga Shield which was in the trophy cabinet at Maradana since 2015. The battle of Saints encounter was more than just a game, it was all about pride and keeping with the great traditions.

With the Joes coming in to the game losing only one game, that to Royal, it was expected that Saints will come marching in to win the game. It was all a wet and muddy affair at Longdon Place as the Josephians made their crowd of supporters jump from their seats scoring two quick tries in the first ten minutes. After losing their play maker, winger to a red card, the Joes defence stood strong, like a fortress, to hold the Peterites to only a score of one try in the entire game. Even though the Peterites had 3 scoring opportunities in the game, the wet ball and poor thinking didn’t take them to the try line. Peterite No. 10, Kenneth Wimaladasa made a name for himself for the first time in the league with his try and the super break he made covering 50 meters where he was tackled by a Josephian defender a mere 2 metres from the try line.

The most important factor and the puzzle for many was why the Petes’ kicker, Shehan Liyanapathirana, who was the highest points scorer of the league, with a 71% success rate, did not take those 6 penalties in the second half with four of them being inside his kicking range. So there comes the blame game, to the boy and the coaches from a few supporters, with the loss which was hard to grasp and almost ended their league title hopes.

The final match of the league was with the unbeaten Royalists at Reid Avenue and it was also the league decider with the B C Anghie Trophy up for grabs for the Bamba Brigade which they lost in 2014. The stadium was packed and the Royalists knew it was a do or die battle for both teams. The game began at top pace and the Peterites dominated the first 10 minutes of the game. However, the well moulded and well drilled Champion Royal Tuskers kept attacking the Peterite gain line at every given opportunity to win the game quite comfortably, 32 points 13 grabbing the league crown while remaining unbeaten.

The Bamba Brigade had now suffered two back to back defeats. Adding more salt to the wound, they were without their experienced captain, vice-captain and two centres due to injury and ruled out for the season. They had lost the battle, but the war was not over. That was the message every Peterite wanted to give this team. The College management led from the front by Rector – Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin, the coaches, the support staff from the ground boy to the cook at the kitchen who prepares their meals, the Peterite Rugby Foundation, the Peterite Rugby social media admins and all the diehard Peterite Rugby fans around the globe rallied around the Bamba Brigade for their next mission – The President’s Trophy on offer in the knockout round.

Videos and posts started coming out on all Social Media platforms with the final motivational match video for the boys done by a passionate Peterite Rugby fan waking up at 5 a..m. on Friday as he had to travel out of Colombo at 9 a.m. for work. The Past captains and players regrouped to rally round the team at the final practice session to give the boys more courage for the important final.

The coaches started concentrating more on preparing the team mentally with tactical and positional changes done to counter the opponents they were about to face. The injured Peterite skipper, Javed Zarook and Mark Assauw willingly opted to stay out of the full squad for the entire tournament as they sacrificed their places for two other youngsters to come in as reserves. The boys too put their heads down and practiced day in and day out to prepare for their knockout round matches and they won the quarters and semi-finals quite convincingly, beating the Antonian Eagles and Wesley once again at Sugathadasa Stadium with the stand-in captain, Kenneth Wimaladasa leading the Bamba Brigade.

This move allowed decisions in the middle to be taken with a lot of confidence and as per the game plan.. Many Peterite rugby fans had felt that this was something that was lacking in the middle throughout the entire season, with the team’s seniors ruled due to injury as the match pressure was building up every week.

Then came the day which had all rugby lovers in Colombo marching towards the Racecourse Grounds for the big final. With the entire Peterite family standing behind the one team who only had one dream, to bring back lost glory to their College. The hype was building up on social media platforms with the Joes being clearly favoured to win the title for the second consecutive year. The stadium was jam packed with an electric atmosphere as the stage was set for a grand final.

The referee Praneeth Weranga started the proceedings under lights and the Josephians started the scoreboard ticking with a goal and a penalty goal to give them the important lead in the first few minutes. The Peterite full back, Shehan Liyanapathirana was tested with high kicks and he committed two cardinal and rule book errors which resulted in two tries for the Joes.

As the game moved on, the Peterites managed to score their first try through a rolling maul with Julian Gracian who is the silent assassin in the team, going over for his first try. As the half time whistle was blown, the Joes had a comfortable lead in the game with 17 points to 5. The master tactician Sanath Martis kept out the Peterite full back and ace kicker of the team in the second half and bought in young Nanayakkara as there was not much of a choice left in the Bench.

However, Peterites continued to do mistakes as the game progressed in to the second half and the Josepahian kicker gave his team 20 points with 25 minutes to go for the final whistle.

Peterites, kicked all penalties to touch and started their rolling maul and saw their winger touching down in the left corner to give some hope to the Bamba Brigade. The scoreboard then read 20 to 10 in favour of the Darley Road boys. Then came their third try in a similar fashion to the first one. Peterite’s burley hooker, Gracian touched down again to make the score line 20 to 15.

With 3 or 4 minutes to go, the marauding Bamba forwards attacked the Joes gain line with the rolling maul again. This was where the stand in captain, Kenneth Wimaladasa had different thoughts and he sneaked his way to the short side and collected a beautiful pass from his scrum half Jason Karunarathne to score the final try of the game to equal the scores. From this moment onwards one part of the stadium was making the biggest noise celebrating it while the other half kept their hands on their heads thinking “what did just hit us?” as Kenneth kicked the ball to sail though the posts converting the try to give the Peterites the win. This was surely the best come backs ever in the history of a President’s Trophy Final, grabbing that trophy as Kenneth won the trophy for the player of the tournament as well.

The celebrations continued in the stadium the entire night with Peterites around the globe jubilant about the sweet revenge over the loss suffered at the battle of the saints (league match) and dethroning the champions as clear underdogs. While the supporters celebrated the team went to Infant Jesus Church in Slave Island to thank the Almighty for all the blessings throughout the entire tournament.

Congratulations to the entire Peterite Team, the coaches, the management, support staff, the passionate supporters around the globe who stood behind this team the entire season.

The success story of Peterite Rugby 2018 couldn’t be scripted any better than through these words by Walt Disney who once said “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”. Obviously for him and for many more, this is the absolute truth.


Take a bow Team 2018!


Thanks and Regards 


Hamza Hidayathullah

Muscat – Sultanate of Oman


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Inter-Schools Rugby: Ugly scene mars Peterite victory


Inter-Schools Rugby: Ugly scene mars Peterite victory

Posted on 08 April 2018 by admin


By M. Shamil Amit – Courtesy: The Sunday Times of April 8, 2018.

The Peterites were clinical against Isipathana – Pic by Amila Gamage

An ugly scene marred the Under 19 inter-school rugby encounter after St. Peter’s came out victorious by 20 points to 14 against Isipathana when some spectators manhandled a touch judge and in the melee empty bottles were thrown bringing the game to disrepute. The match was played at Havelock Park last evening.

However, the Peterites were the better team and they deserved to win having dominated the first session of proceedings to take the lead at the lemons 15-9. They accumulated their points through a goal, two tries and a penalty to a try and three penalties scored by Isipathana.

It was Isipathana who drew first blood by a penalty booted over by skipper and centre Sulakshana Ruberu in the third minute and eight minutes later Peterites leveled the score with a penalty booted by Shehan Liyanapathirana. Ruberu then helped Isipathana take over the lead when he booted over another penalty.

St. Peter’s undeterred got their act together and had their opponents under tremendous pressure and they were rewarded for their efforts with flanker Bilal Hilmy off a five metre scrum going over for an unconverted try. Five minutes before the short whistle they increased the lead off a try by hooker Julian Charles and with Liyanapathirana adding the extra points saw them lead 15-6.

From there on the two sides’ shared the honours and the Isipathanians being offered a penalty in the dying stages of the first half opted to take a kick at goal and succeeded as skipper Ruberu made no mistake helping the Pathanas to reduce the deficit as the sides changed with the Petes leading 15-9.

On resumption the weather hampered proceedings as the game slowed down due to slippery ground and also making ball handling for the two teams a bit difficult.

Isipathana again made the first scoring with winger Ramith Himash intercepting a pass in St. Peter’s territory sprinted over 60 metres to score down the left corner flag and with the conversion fluffed but the Isipathanians managed to reduce the Peterites lead to one point 14-15.

The Peterites struck back four minutes away from the finish through an unconverted try by Shehan Liyanapathirana who kicked the ball ahead and followed it up to go over for a try. Even though the conversion went stray, the Peterites had almost sealed the game before the long whistle was blown with the score 20-14 in favour of St. Peter’s who continued to maintain their unbeaten record with their fourth successive win.

Referee – Pradeep Weranga


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44th Battle of the Saints Limited over match won by St. Joseph's College by 87 runs

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44th Battle of the Saints Limited over match won by St. Joseph’s College by 87 runs

Posted on 03 April 2018 by admin

The Josephian-Peterite limited overs encounter which is the longest running Limited Over encounter in the country and played for the Rev.Fr. Peter A. Pillai trophy was worked off for the 44th consecutive year at the SSC grounds in Colombo on Saturday, March 24, 2018.


A solid all-round effort by St. Joseph’s College enabled them to beat arch rival St. Peter’s College by 87 runs in their 44th Battle of the Saints annual limiter overs cricket encounter and win the Fr. Peter Pillai trophy at the SSC ground in Colombo yesterday.

The Joes electing to bat first made 259 in 49.2 overs as Revan Kelley (59), Nipun Sumanasinghe (53) and Dunith Wellalage (37) piled up the runs.

The Peterites got off to a disastrous start losing three wickets for just six runs and never recovered only to be bowled out for 172 as the Daniel duo of Jehan and Ashian grabbed four scalps each. Only Santhush Gunathilake with 49 and Ranmith Jayasena (48) offered some resistance.

Jehan Daniel skipper of St. Joseph’s was adjudicated as man of the match.

St. Joseph’s: 259 in 49.2 overs (Revan Kelly 59, Nipun Sumanasinghe 53, Dunith Wellalage 37, Jehan Daniel 26, Lakshan Gamage 26, Dilesh Perera 19, Shivan Perera 2/32, Santhush Gunathilake 2/44, Mohamed Ameen 2/60)

St.Peter’s: 172 in 38.4 overs (Santhush Gunathilake 49, Ranmith Jayasena 48, Dinith Anjula 25, Jehan Daniel 4/21, Ashian Daniel 4/32)-(YK) 



The Josephian skipper and Sri Lanka U19 vice captain, Jehan Daniel called correct at the toss and the Josephians batted first on what looked like a good track to bat on. Johanne De Zilva fell early to the left arm spin of Miflal Ameen but experienced campaigners Revan Kelly and Nipun Sumanasinghe resurrected the innings with both batsman making half centuries. Skipper Daniel hit a couple of lusty blows during his short stay but he fell to some canny bowling from Ameen.

The Josephians struggled during the middle overs to gain any momentum but 15 year old Dunith Wellalage gave the innings much needed impetus with a fluent 37, though his dismissal sparked a mini collapse as the Josephians were all-out for 259 after being 237/5. Ameen, Santhush Gunathilaka and Shivan Perera all picked two wickets apiece for the Peterites.

The Peterite run chase got off to a horror start with their top order bar skipper Gunathilaka being dismissed in quick succession as they were reduced to 3/06. Jehan Daniel had his tail up for the Josephians dismissing both right handers with in-swingers to trap them in front while Lakshan Gamage picked up the first wicket to fall.

It was a grand recovery from there onwards for the Peterites through Gunathilaka and Ranmith Jayasena as the duo initially took time before starting to break free as they added 103 runs for the fourth wicket. Then came the most telling point in the match when Jehan Daniel brought himself back into the attack to capture the vital scalp of Jayasena who was unfortunate to be dismissed on 48.

The other Daniel (Ashain) also got into the act as he dismissed the Peterite skipper who was looking well set for a big one to put a halt to the Peterite run chase. The boys from Bambalapitiya never really recovered from there onwards as they eventually folded up for 172 handing a massive 87 run victory to the Josephians.

Ashain Daniel was unfortunate to not pick a five wicket haul but he ended with outstanding figures of 4/32 while captain Jehan Daniel picked up the last wicket to fall to end with a stunning 4/21 as the Josephians recorded a win in the series after 2014.

Jehan Daniel and Ashain Daniel were named man of the match and best bowler respectively while Revan Kelly won the best batsman’s award for his crucial 59. Sulakshana Fernando was named best fielder in the match for his catch and an amazing run out while Santhush Gunathilaka and Ranmith Jayasena won the award for the ‘partnership of the match’.




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44th "Battle of the Saints" limited over encounter on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at SSC grounds

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44th “Battle of the Saints” limited over encounter on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at SSC grounds

Posted on 19 March 2018 by admin

 The limited over "Battle of the Saints" was launched in 1975. The honour of captaining the inaugural game belonged to Dushan Soza (SJC) and Bernard Wijetunga (SPC).Around this time, the 50-over game was gathering momentum throughout the cricketing playing nations. The Josephian-Peterite limited over game was the first amongst schools in Sri Lanka. St. Joseph's College is ahead with 21 wins while the Peterites have won 20 matches including a daring win in 2017.

2018 marks the 44th encounter and the game will be played on Saturday, March 24th at SSC grounds. 

Recap of 43rd Encounter played at SSC Grounds on March 25, 2017.

St. Peter’s College recorded their third successive win against traditional rivals St. Joseph’s College with a 54-run victory in their 43rd annual Limited Overs cricket encounter played at the SSC ground in Colombo today (25). The high-scoring match saw St. Peter’s taking first lease of the wicket were steered by two batting displays by Sulakshana Fernando, who made 90 and Manelker de Silva, an unbeaten 107. 

The Peterites ended up with a formidable score of 311 for 8. 

St. Joseph’s in their run-chase, despite a fine knock of 73 coming from Dineth Madurawala, was bowled out for 257 with three deliveries to spare. 

St. Peter’s 311 for 8 wickets (50) (Sulakshana Fernando 90, Santhush Gunatilleke 31, Lakshina Rodrigo 23, Manelker de Silva 107n.o, Thineth Madurawala 2/22, Nipun Sumanasinghe 2/58) 

St. Joseph’s 257 all out (49.3) (Dineth Madurawala 73, Havin Perera 47, Jehan Daniel 35, Pahan Perera 23, Sachin Silva 3/55, Manelker de Silva 2/23, Santhush Gunatilleke 2/30)

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84th "Battle of the Saints" on March 2nd & 3rd ends in a tame draw

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84th “Battle of the Saints” on March 2nd & 3rd ends in a tame draw

Posted on 04 March 2018 by admin

SJC XI 2018

The 84th "Battle of the Saints" encounter ended in a tame draw, in favour of the underdogs St. Peter's College who had a 49-run lead in the first innings. The Josephians forced the draw by batting through the better part of day-2 and giving their rivals only 9 overs to make 189 runs for a win – an impossible task. At the end of the day Peterites provided entertaining cricket and were 57 for the loss 1-wicket at close of play. It was a disappointing finish from a spectator standpoint. But the Josephians would not have ti any other way.

The match was played before a large crowd of spectators on Friday (March 2nd) and Saturday (March 3rd) at the P. Sara Stadium. Kudos to "ThePapare.Com" powered by Dialog who broadcast the match on both day much to the delight of the Joes and Peterites all over the world. In fact this writer had the distinct pleasure of watching both day's play from Toronto, Canada on a large screen monitor and the clarity of the broadcast was awesome. Well done 'ThePapare', we are grateful for the outstanding service provided to the viewers all over the world. Thank you.

SPC XI 2018

Peterite skipper Santhush Gunathilake won the all important toss and elected to field. A good decision in retrospect. The Josephians went out favourites in this 84th encounter and had a better all-round side compared to the Peterites. A maximum of 60 overs per team in the first innings over has been a mandatory policy adapted by the joint committee many years back. The objective of this decision was to trigger a result in the big match. This did not play into the game as the Josephians were all out in their first innings for 195 in 53.2 overs. Sachin Silva took three wickets for 24 runs and Mohammed Ameen grabbed two wickets for 71 runs.

The Peterites had their rivals struggling for survival in both inningsa. The Petes had the Joes batting in tatters on 68 for 4 before the Josephian captain Jehan Daniel came to their rescue with a quick-fire knock of 93 in only 115 balls that included three boundaries and half a dozen sixes. The right and left arm spin combination of Sachin Silva and Mohamed Ameen who made the early breakthroughs did the damage. Skipper Jehan Daniels led from the front and steered the Joes out of trouble by scoring a blistering 93 runs. Daniels was unfortunate to be caught by the rival skipper Gunathilake attempting a big hit. In reply the Peterites rattled up 244 runs in the mandatory 60 overs with a 49-run lead in the first innings. Shalith Fernando, 58, and Ranmith Jayasena, 55, batted best for the Peterites and ensured that they passed the Josephian first innings total easily. Fernando contributed 58 with six fours and two sixes while Jayasena chipped in with 55 with four fours. Shalith Fernando and Sulakshana Fernando associated in a 91-run stand for the third wicket on the previous day.

The Peterites in their turn helped by half tons by Shalith Fernando and Ranmith Jayasena ended the day in a strong position of 190 for 6. Resuming on day two and with 11 overs of batting left saw the overnight pair Pabasara Herath and Kanishka Maduwantha adding a further 28 runs before being separated with the dismissal of Pabasara who made a valuable 38 runs which had three boundaries and a six.


The Josephians batting for the second time with a deficit of 49 runs, saw the openers Johanne de Silva and Revan Kelly sharing  43 runs before being separated and they lost another quick wicket for the addition of four runs. Nipun Sumanasinghe and Jehan Fernandopulle added 34 runs for the third wicket and from there on, they lost wickets at regular intervals and the dismissal of skipper Jehan Daniel cheaply saw them falling back and slid to 146 for 7. Dineth Jayakody who remained unbeaten on 55 with four boundaries and a six and Dunith Wellalage who made 44 took them to safety with the duo denying further success for the Peterite bowlers. The pair put on a valuable match saving partnership of 80 runs for the eighth wicket which sealed the game for a draw as the Josephians ended the day on 237 for 8 facing 81 overs.

Like it is done in the past the second innings was a big bore with this time the Joes playing safe to ensure a draw utilizing as many as 83 overs to score 237 for 8 and declare leaving the Peterites to make 189 in 15 overs which even a machine would not have been able to do. In this writer's opinion, the Josephians would have done well to declare their second innings on reaching 200 runs leaving the 152 runs to score in about 20 overs. This would have turned the match into an interesting battle. But the Joes played it safe to record another drab draw.

When the match ended the Peterites reached 57 for 1 in nine overs with Santhush Gunatilleke making 39. And so the big match ended in a tame draw. On the first day Sri Lanka youth player and Joes skipper Jehan Daniel scored 93 with six sixes and made only 24 in the second innings. However, there was little doubt that Daniels was easily the best player on the ground on both sides. He was unfortunate to miss his coveted century by 7 runs but he saved the Josephians from recording a low first innings score. 


  • Best Fielder Pabasara Herath – SPC
  • Best Bowler Lakshan Gamage – SJC
  • Best Batsman Shalith Fernando – SPC
  • Best Allrounder Dunith Wellalage – SJC
  • Man of the Match Jehan Daniel – SJC



Sri Lanka under 19 cricketer Jehan Daniel played the role of savior to rescue St Joseph’s College from dire straits at 10 for 5 to a respectable 205 on the opening day of the 83rd Battle of the Saints encounter against St Peter’s College at the P Sara Oval yesterday.

By the close the game was evenly poised with St Peter’s replying with 138 for five wickets.

Daniel’s magnificent century saved St. Joseph’s the blushes and enabled them to take the upper hand.

Daniel came to the crease with his side tottering at 10 for 5 after skipper Harin Cooray had won the toss and elected to bat first. However in the first session’s play things go the way the Joes would have planned.

Under 19 player cum Peterite vice-captain and right arm fast bowler Manelker de Silva and his new ball partner Santhush Gunathilake combined together to rip through the batting line up.

Gunathilake ran through the Joes top order by making the early breakthrough in his first two overs when he dismissed openers Cameron Duruge and took the prize wicket of Nipun Sumanasinghe who has scored 1000 runs this season. Manelker De Silva added salt to the wound of the Josephians when he got rid of Dineth Madurawela for one as St. Joseph’s slid to 3 for 3. To make matters worse for the Joes both Thashan Perera and Havin Perera were run out due to brilliant fielding and half the Joes side was out for 10. A sixth wicket partnership of 56 between Daniel and wicket keeper Shevan Fonseka (26) addressed the slump. The stand was ended with another run out of Fonseka following a direct throw from Ranmith Jayasena, son of Panadura SC cricketer Mangala Jayasena.



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