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School Rugby: Peterites win against St. Anthony’s College Kandy

Posted on 27 June 2016 by admin

Courtesy of Daily News:

Daily News ReportSt.Peter’s College staged a spectacular display of rugby when they came from behind 14-nil down to beat St. Anthony’s College Kandy by 37 points (5 tries, 3 conversions, 2 penalties) to 31 (3 tries, 2 conversions, 4 penalties) to reach the semi-finals of the Milo inter- schools ‘A’ Division knockout rugby tournament. The quarterfinal match played at the Royal Sports complex, Reid Avenue yesterday saw Anthonians lead 25-19 at half time.

St. Anthony’s drew first blood in the very first minute of play when off a rolling maul skipper and flanker Pasindu Dulshan touched down for a try. Fly half Samuel Maduwantha made the conversion for them to go 7-nil up.

In the 6th minute off a three quarter move Anthonian centre Dinuk Amarasinghe darted down for a try. Maduwantha made the conversion to extend their lead to 14-nil.

St. Peter’s opened scoring in the 11th minute when off a sweeping rolling maul hooker Ravin Yapa crashed through for a sensational try near the left corner flag, Sivaraj missed the conversion and the scoreline stood at 14-5.

In the 21st minute St Anthony’s increased their lead to 17-5 when Maduwantha slotted a 30-metre penalty.

In the 24th minute off a fabulous three quarter move Peterite centre Theekshana Dassanayaka scored a breathtaking try, Sivaraj made the conversion to cut the lead down to 17-12.

Maduwantha put over another penalty in the 26th minute to increase the scoreline to 20-12.

St. Peter’s kept on fighting and in the 36th minute off a tremendous three quarter move Dassanayaka scored again to reduce the score to 20-19.

On the stroke of half time Anthony’s scored again through their number eight Mendis but Maduwantha missed the conversion and the score read 25-19.

Soon after resumption in the 43rd minute St. Peter’s scored through the boot of Sivaraj and a try through centre Dassanayaka to take the lead for the first time in the game by 29 to 25.

In the 52nd minute Maduwantha put over another penalty for St. Anthony’s to cut down the lead to 29-28.

The Peterites increased the tally through another penalty by Sivaraj to take the score to 32-28.

Maduwantha put over another difficult penalty for the Anthonians to close the gap to 32-31.

In the 71st minute St. Peter’s virtually sealed the match when their hero centre Dassanayaka sent his full back Diyath Fernando over for a superb try mid right, Sivaraj missed the difficult conversion and the score read a remarkable 37-31 when the final whistle was blown.

Referee : Pradeep Fernando (WAI)

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Peterites win 82nd “Battle of the Saints” encounter at P. Sara Oval

Posted on 12 March 2016 by admin


Sporting St. Joseph’s College rector Fr Travis Gabriel awards win to St. Peter’s:

Unruly supporters of St Joseph’s College behaving like hooligans unbecoming of their school’s disciplinary image ruined their much hyped about big match cricket encounter against traditional rival St.Peter’s College who were deprived of a well deserved victory on the field in the 82nd Battle of the Saints at the P Sara Oval in Colombo yesterday.

Scores of St. Joseph’s College supporters invade the P Sara Oval in Colombo yesterday disrupting their big match against St. Peter’s College yesterday (Picture by Thilak Perera)

A genuinely concerned rector of St. Joseph’s College, Rev Fr Travis Gabriel subse

Joe-Pete New Logo

quently awarded the win to St. Peter’s College.

Unable to hide their disgraceful conduct with no regard for the rules of fair-play and decency, the Joes supporters were hell bent on preventing the Peterites from finishing off the match and invaded the field many times much to the annoyance of genuine cricket fans of their own school who could only bite their finger nails and watch the madness in deep sorrow.

Chasing a target of 66 the Peterites were cruising at 59 for 4 with Lakshina Rodrigo taking his side to the brink of victory as he gave the Joes no room to save face on the field of play. But much to the annoyance of the umpires, Rodrigo was stopped in his strides by the mobs of Joes supporters who brought their institution to disrepute in ugly scenes unseen in the past.

The umpires had no alternative but to call off the match with 2.4 overs remaining and the Peterites needing just seven more runs with six wickets in the bag.

Independent analysts told the Sunday Observer that the disruption only proved that school cricket was being run by a set of puppets in the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA) whereas in any other situation the offending school or team would be banned for the behaviour of their supporters.

The Peterites probably secured the result on the first day itself when they posted a rousing 304 for 9 declared and bowled out the Joes for 106 to enforce the follow-on.

Resuming their second innings at 28 for no loss, the Joes were finally bowled out for 263 after the tea break leaving the Peterites to make 66 in 12 overs for victory which was never out of reach.

St Peter’s College 1st innings 304-9 declared 
(Manilka de Silva 71, H Wanasekera 59, Ranmith Jayasena 56) 
St Joseph’s College 1st innings 106 (Taneesha Weerakoon 6-33)

St Joseph’s College 2nd innings 
Revon Kelly c Rodrigo b R Silva 			20
S. Rodrigo c Fernando b Weerakoon 			31
Nipun Sumanasinghe run out 				51
Jehan Daniel b Mohotti 					01
Sahan Perera lbw Pathiranage 				30
N Gunatilleka lbw Weerakoon 				72
S. Fonseka c Fernando b Pathiranage 			22
Malshan Rodrigo lbw Weerakoon 				16
Charuka Ulandepitiya Mohotti 				06
Harin Cooray b Weerakoon 				06
Ruchira Ekanayake not out 				00
Extras (w 1, nb 4, lb 3) 				08
TOTAL (all out) 				       263

Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-71, 3-93, 4-124,5-159, 6-185
		 206-7, 8-221, 9-258, 
Bowling: Weerakoon 40.4-8-88-4
	 R Silva 15-2-44-1
	 Mohotti 23-8-53-2
	 S Pathiranage 17-3-39-2
	 R Seneviratne 8-2-24-0
	 M de Silva 4-1-12-0

St Peter’s 2nd innings (target 66)
Anishka Perera c Kelly b Daniel 			02
I Fernando b Daniel 		   			00
H Wanasekera c Rodrigo b Ekanayake 			15
Lakshina Rodrigo not out 				32
Manelka de Silva c Rodrigo b Ekanayake 			02 
Vinu Mohotti not out		 			00
Extras (w 7, b 1) 					08
TOTAL (4 wickets) 					59

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-11, 3-49, 4-59. 
Bowling: Daniel 5-0-28-2
	 Cooray 2-0-15-0
	 Ekanayake 2.2-0-15-2

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Joes take Schools Basketball title

Posted on 22 September 2015 by admin




A St.Joseph’s College player about to foil an attempt by an AIS player to pile up a basket in the final which St.Joseph’s won by 55-51. Picture by Lalith C.Gamage





St. Joseph’s College, Colombo clinched the National Schools Basketball title by edging out the All Island Under 19 Champions and Western Province Champions, Asian International School by 55 points to 51 after a thrilling final played at Darley Road recently.

In the beginning AIS attempted to dominate the game, but the Josephians took the game away from the visitors. At Half time the Joes managed to snatch the lead (25 – 24).

From the third quarter, both teams strived to take the lead, with rebounds and counter attacks. However, the Darley Road School made their intentions clear to clinch the title with their giant killing performance.

It also turned out to be a game played with immense speed by both teams. The visitors also gave the homesters some anxious moments and infact made them to defend their own territory.

The Captain of the St. Joseph’s College Kisal Cooray had a grand game as he netted 21 points and was also adjudged the best player of the tournament. He was ably supported by Bhanuka Gamage who collected 12 points .

For Asian International School, Tahir Akberally scored 16 points while skipper Bevan Samuel collected 9 points.

Meanwhile, De La Salle College emerged victorious in the third place decider against Kingswood College Kandy by 76 points to 61 after leading by 20 – 14 at the breather. Anushka Dilan (33 points) and Ishara Piyumal (7 points) were the most outstanding for the Lasallians while A.Thilina (16 points) and K.Hansaka excelled for the Kingswoodians. 







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Peterites all-island under-17 tennis champions

Posted on 19 June 2015 by admin






Peterite tennis players



Peterite tennis players fresh from their triumphant win in the Under 15 age group went on to win the All Island Under 17 tennis championship that concluded on Monday (15th) at the SLTA courts at Greenpath. Starting the tournament pitted against Defending Under 17 champions Ananda College and the star studded S. Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia Peterites lacking big names of the other schools were quietly confident about their abilities in this age group.

While the strong Ananda College team was grouped with Royal College, St Sebastians College, St. Joesph's College and Lyceum International School in group "A" the Peterites were grouped with S. Thomas' College Mt Lavinia, who were considered the favorites in this age group, St Benedict's College and Trinity College Kandy in group "B".

Starting the tournament with a resounding win against St Benedicts College on the first day, Peterites then produced a sound display of tennis to beat Trinity College, Kandy and advanced to the group decider against S. Thomas' College Mt Lavinia. All eyes of the tournament was on this match as two of the heavyweights of this age group went at each other early in the tournament to lay down a marker for the tournament.

Thomians got off to a good start as their "star" player Avindra Perera beat the Peterite S Innthujan 9/3 to get the Thomians off to the start they were looking for. Then another of the Sri Lanka Players in the Thomian team Jerique Rajapakse teaming up with Dulitha Ellawala beat the Peterite first doubles pair 9/1 to give the Thomians breathing space.

Staring down the barrel Peterite Isuru Wijeratne had to win to keep the Peterites in the Contest. With the scores reading 3/2 in favour of Isuru the heavens opened and the match was postponed to the next day. Next day Isuru went onto win his match 9/2 to bring them back into the contest.

It was generally agreed that the 2nd doubles of this tie was going to be the decider. With Anarga Peiris and Vihan Herath for the Thomians and U Srinath and Kavinka Fernando for the Peterites this was expected to be a close affair.

Peterites dealt a huge psychological blow for the whole tournament by cruising to victory 9/0 to win the match. Then Mark Seneviratne playing the final match for the Peterites won his match 9/2 to give Peterites the narrowest of 18/17 win against the Thomians to advance as group winners.

With Ananda College beating Royal College 26/9 to be the group champions in Group "A" the semi final line up was decided in the tournament. Peterites were pitted against Royal College while the Anandians were playing against the Thomians.

In the first semi final The Peterites quietly went about their business of defeating a gutty Royal team fighting hard against oddsand won their match 3/0. Meanwhile the Anandians and the Thomians were having a "ding dong" battle in the other semi final. After long matches well into the afternoon with Sri Lanka representatives of both schools playing against each it was the Thomians who won a good match 3/2 to advance to the final. Thus the stage was set for another Peterite Thomian clash in the final.

In the final the Peterites surprised everyone by totally changing their tactics for the final from their earlier group match while the Thomians were also coming with new tactics.

In the final Thomian Jerique Rajapakse, A Sri Lanka Junior Davis cup player drew first first blood by winning his match to give the Thomians a 1/0 lead. In the first doubles the Peterites got their own back with the surprise combination of Isuru Wijeratne and Mark Seneviratne winning their match 6/2, 6/1 to level the final at 1/1. Then Thomian Avindra Perera, unbeaten in the tournament and ranked the No 1 player in the country in this age group, put the Thomians ahead by winning his match to give the Thomians a 2/1 lead.

With the Peterites focusing on the doubles in the final the dependable pair of U Srinath and Kavinka Fernando won their match 6/2, 6/0 to level this pulsating final at 2/2.

S Innthujan was playing the final match for the Peterites while Anarga Peiris was playing for the Thomians. This was the title decider.

With Anarga staying steady from the back court and putting pressure on Innthujan this was tennis of good quality for a title decider. Innthujan won the first set 6/2 although the score did not reflect the closeness of the match. Anarga got into a 2/1 lead in the 2ndset to silence the cheering Peterite crowd. But Innthujan using his vast experience playing good tennis started to pull away and the pressure was getting to the young Thomian.

Finally Innthujan won the set 6/2 to send the Peterites into raptures by pulling off an improbable win in this age group.

The winning Peterite team consisted of Kavinka Fernando, U Srinath, Isuru Wijeratne, Mark Seneviratne, S Innthujan, Meshan Nanayakkara, Adhel Reza and T Vibhashan.

"Peterite tennis players work hard and play for each other. Their dedication and motivation to win is an example to everyone" said Rev Fr Sharm Dasanayake, Sports Coordinator at St. Peter's College. He further said" Fr Rector Rev Fr Trevor Martin supports them at every turn and is very interested in their progress. His support is critical for their success.

I would also like to thank the Master in charge Bernard Jesuthasan for being there for the boys when they need him most."

Peterites are coached by Dinith Pathiraja.





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“Battle of the Saints” on March 6 and 7

Posted on 24 February 2015 by admin

Battle of the saints 2015 Courtesy: Thushan Jayasuriya – Daily News.

 The 81st annual "Battle of the Saints" big match between Sri Lanka's most prominent Catholic Schools St.Joseph's College and St.Peter's College will be played on March 6 and 7 at P.Sara Oval Stadium. This was revealed at a media briefing held at St.Peter's College on Monday. For the first time, a joint organizing committee has formed with the objective of attract more crowd for the two day encounter. St. Joseph's College rector Rev.Fr. Travis Gabriel addressing the media stated that this event will build a strong bond, friendship and unity as a one catholic family which will be the salient feature of this big event played for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Legoc memorial trophy. Former Sri Lankan cricketer Tony Opatha, the Peterite Captain in 1967 will be the Chief guest for the big match encounter. The Rector of the St.Peter's College Trevoe Martin explaining the rules and regulations said " As per the special conditions since 2000, the first innings of both teams will be limited to 60 overs.

Each team will bowl 60 overs irrespective of interruption of unless all out. However the team has the options of declaring within the 60 overs and the team batting second could be enforced to follow-on at the end of the 60 overs even if they are 100 runs behind though they are not all out." St.Peter's College will be hosting the two day big match while St.Joseph's College will host the 41st limited over encounter which will take place on March 14 at R.Premadasa Stadium. Prasan Leanage who was the Joes Captain in 1989 will be the chief guest in this event. The Josephians are leading the series tally with 12 victories where they scored their last win in 2008 under the captaincy of Ruwantha Fernandopulle while the Peterites have nine victories in their hand with their last win in 2012 under the captaincy of Shehan Fernando. Once again the Joes leads the overall tally winning 21 to Pete's 17 in the limited over game.

The St.Joseph's College Rector also said that there's a vehicle parade for the old boys of both schools which is to be held on March 14 parallel to the one day encounter and the schoolboys of both schools have been advised not to attend it. Mercantile Investments and Finance will be the main sponsor for this event.

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St. Joseph’s College storm into semis

Posted on 08 August 2014 by admin




SJC LOGO SITESt. Joseph's College Colombo advanced to the semi final of the 'Singer Trophy' Under 17 division one inter schools cricket tournament conducted by Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association yesterday at Mercantile Cricket Association Ground.

St. Joseph's College Colombo beat Royal College Panadura by 14 runs according to Duckworth Lewis system in the pre-quarter final round match was played at MCA grounds yesterday.

St Joseph scored 211 runs in 50 overs. Shevon Fonseka scored 58 runs with good contributions from Kevin Coting 57 Tashan Perera 28 and Sandaruwan Rodrigo 23 runs.

For Panadura Royal Rangana Kumarasiri and Raveen Lakshan shared three wickets each and Sachin Tharuka took 2 for 21.

In reply, Royal College Panadura were restricted for 117 for 5 in 31 overs. Pathum Nirmal scored 31 Hashan Vimukthi not out 27 and Raveen Lakshan scored 26 also batted well.

For the Josephians Roshan Perera took 3 for 26 .

St. Joseph's Colombo will meet Trinity College Kandy in the semi final next week.

St. Joseph's: 211 in 50 overs (Shevon Fonseka 58, Kevin Cotling 57, Tashan Perera 28, Sandaruwan Rodrigo 23, Ranga Kumarasiri 3/42, Raveen Lakshan 3/45, Sachin Tharuak 2/21)

Royal Panadura: 117/5 in 31 overs (Pethum Nirmal 31, Hashan Vimukthi 27 n.o., Raveen Lakshan 26, Roshen Perera 3/26)



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Peterite Rugby Team 2014


Peterites – a force to be reckoned with in school rugby

Posted on 09 June 2014 by admin

Peterite Rugby Team 2014St. Peter's College , a school with a proud rugby history with a star studded line up are confident of performing well in the Singer inter school under 20 'A' division league rugby tournament.

Their main target is the 'A' division league title and already they have recorded victories against several heavyweights in the Schools rugby arena including Science (27-22), S.Thomas' (44-12), Dharmaraja (47-15), St.Anthony's (32-17), St. Joseph's (16-11) and held formidable Kingswood College Kandy to a 14 all draw. But they suffered a 5 – 18 defeat at the hands of Royal College Colombo last week.z_p24-Peterites04.jpg

The Peterite rugby renaissance began in 2005 when led by Sajith Adikari, they clinched the Milo knockout Championship by overcoming Kingswood.

In the following year(2006) led by Number Eight Haren Ariyawardena, the Peterites had a superb season clinching the rugby double, the Singer League and the Milo Knockout Tournament.

In 2007, led by Scrum-Half Ranuka Jayasinghe, the Peterites were the undisputed champions remaining unbeaten and bagging both the Singer A division league and Milo Knockout tournament.

Three years later(2010) led by Number Eight Keith Gurusinghe, they clinched the Singer league title and were adjudged joint Milo Knockout Champions with Royal when the final was not played due to a court injunction.The man who brought about this remarkable change in Peterite fortunes was none other than Sanath Martis, a rugby coach par excellence, who went onto become Sri Lanka under 19 coach.

St.Peter's College which took to rugby in 1932 has produced several players who have represented Sri Lanka with distinction Nizar Hadji Omar, Angelo Wickremeratne and Dilanka Wijesekara went onto captain Sri Lanka.

Didacus de Almeida, Royden de Silva, Darrel Wimalaratne, Hamzi Hameed, Desmond Harridge, Jeffrey de Jong, Jeyer Rodriguesz, Maurice de Silva, Rohan Abeysundera, Len de Silva, Graham Raux, Thushara Jayalath. went onto represent Sri Lanka with distinction.

In recent years, players of the calibre of Leonard de Zilwa, Sandun Herath, Dhanushka Ranjan, Shenal Dias, Sayuru Anthony, Keith Gurusinghe, Ishan Noor, Mohamed Sheriff and Rajiv Perera have donned the Sri Lanka jersey bringing honour and fame to the Bambalapitiya School.

Thushan Jayasuriya – Courtesy: Daily News

St.Peter's College have retained the services of several senior players including skipper Shenal Aponso, Kevin Dickson, Nishon Perera, Steve Dharmaratne, Shallon Direckze, Frank Roger, Shamry Burah, Udara Anjana.

Leading the Peterites is third year player Shenal Aponso, a fine hooker and excellent player in the loose.

The First choice for the prop forwards berth will be Udara Anjana , the other players who could fit into this position are Roshen Rajapaksa, Gihan Fernando , Rahal Delpechitra, Nishanthan Bhaskar and Hareen Biyanwila. Skipper Shenal Aponso will play in his pet position as hooker with Raveen Yapa, Kusal Ravinatha and Yohan Jason.

z_p24-Peterites01.jpgMaleesha Rajapaksa, Shehan Mark de Silva and Dilshan Fonseka will be eyeing the lock forwards berths. Deputy skipper Nishon Perera, who is another talented player in the team is the first choice among the flankers. Ranith Silva, Shane Gurusinghe and Sajith de Saram are the others to assist him.

z_p24-Peterites03.jpgFrank Roger , an enthusiastic player will play as the Number eight with Hasindu Fernando while seasoned Steve Dharmaratne and Ramal Fernando will battle it out for the scrum halves berth. Experienced Shamry Burah, who has contributed a lot to Peterites success, will play as fly half with Sandesh Jayawickrama also eyeing this berth.

Avishka Ranasinghe, Ramesh Fernando, Deshan Fernando and Luke Lakshan will battle it out for the Centre three quarter berths.

The battle hardened Shallon Direckze will support the side by playing as winger with Diyath Fernando and Harshana Peiris. Kevin Dickson, a superb runner who scored a hat-trick of tries against S.Thomas'will occupy the last line of defence.

Kamesh Fernando is the other player who could fit into this position.

Former St.Peter's, Havelocks and Sri Lanka under 20 ruggerite Colin Denish, who captained the school in 1989 has taken over the responsibility of building up of the team.

He is confident that the boys will perform better this time and they would regain their lost prestige.

z_p24-Peterites02.jpgThe team gets the fullest support of Rector Rev.Fr Trevor Martin, Sports Coordinator Rev.Fr Shyam Dassanayake, Master-In-Charge Sunil Aponso, Assistant Coaches Thusitha Peiris and Rajiv Perera(u-18), Manager Mahesh de Silva, Trainer Benedict Perera, Physical Trainer Viraj Jayakody and Team Physician Dr.Clive C.James.

St.Peter's under 20 Rugby Squad

Prop Forwards : Udara Anjana, Roshen Rajapaksa, Gihan Fernando, Rahal Delpechitra, Nishanthan Bhaskar and Hareen Biyanwila.

Hookers : Shenal Aponso(Captain), Raveen Yapa, Kusal Ravinatha, Yohan Jason.

Lock Forwards : Maleesha Rajapaksa, Shehan Mark de Silva, Dilshan Fonseka.

Flankers : Nishon Perera(Vice Captain), Ranith Silva, Shane Gunasinghe, Sajith Seram.

Number Eight : Frank Roger, Hasindu Fernando.

Scrum-Halves : Steve Dharmaratne, Ramal Fernando.

Fly-Halves: Shamry Burah, Sandesh Jayawickrama.

Centres : Avishka Ranasinghe, Ramesh Fernando, Deshan Fernando and Luke Lakshan.

Wingers : Shallon Direckze, Diyath Fernando and Harshana Peiris.

Full backs : Kevin Dickson(Vice Captain) and Kamesh Fernando.







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Peterite Rugby Team


Airtel Lanka continues to Scrum St. Peter’s College Rugby

Posted on 26 March 2014 by admin

Peterite Rugby TeamBharti Airtel renewed its partnership for the year 2014 as the principle sponsor of the St. Peter's College Rugby team. Having supported rugby at St. Peter's since 2012, the partnership renewed for the third consecutive year further fortifies Airtel Lanka's position as a global telecommunications giant keen on supporting and uplifting school sports in the island.

St. Peter's College was the fourth school to play Rugby at a competitive level in Sri Lanka. Shirley Illesinghe brought the first victory to St Peter's in 1934. This historic match was played against Royal College with a win of 5-0. In 2013 the St. Peter's rugby team made its mark by winning the All Island Under-18 and Under-20 Inter-School Rugby Sevens Championships and was placed third in the League Championships. In the year 2014, the St. Peter's Rugby team has already won the Under 18 Interschool Rugby 7s Championships and made it to the Semi Finals in the Under 20 category. Currently the St. Peter's Rugby team is placed in Division 1, Group A and are looking forward to an exciting season this year. St. Peter's last won the Inter-school Rugby League Championship in the year 2010.

Commenting on the renewal of sponsorship Suren Goonewardene, CEO – Sri Lanka, Bharti Airtel said, "Airtel Lanka has always placed great emphasis on promoting our brand through dynamic and energetic sponsorships and a game such as Rugby fits perfectly with our attempt. Rugby is played passionately by the youth of our country and Airtel Lanka as a leading supporter of Sri Lankan sports is proud to be a part of nurturing sports and sportsmen and women from a very young age. We see a great amount of potential and energy in the St. Peter's College Rugby team. Therefore we indeed very pleased be their sponsor for the third time and wish them all the very best for yet another successful season."

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Joe-Pete ‘48 game a heart stopper

Posted on 08 January 2014 by admin

Courtesy: Supun Perera – Daily News of Friday, March 5, 2010.

As the open clear blue skies and bright sunny weather herald, yet another big match season dawns; Be it Royal-Thomian, Joe-Pete and many cricket encounters of traditional importance. The value of a traditional cricket encounter is that young and old, staunch and true together with those who departed after learning and those who left without learning will converge in large numbers (Even from Overseas) along with many other cricket lovers to witness the ‘Blue’ or the ‘Saints’ battle and partake as well in the festivities that centre around in these two glorious events.

The de Mel brothers (standing from left): Cletus de Mel, Carl de Mel, Rev. Fr. Joe de Mel. (Seated from left): Rodney de Mel, Royce de Mel, Maurice de Mel.

As I have always mentioned the Josephian-Peterite Cricket encounter which is commonly known as the ‘Battle of the Saints’ cricket encounter is one game which very often produces bright and entertaining two days of cricket and a game played with rich traditions. As for me; I Would for the benefit of the young and the cricket lovers in general; wish to recall to memory the 14th Joe–Pete encounter which was played in 1948.This year is of great importance since we gained Independence from British and the match was played at the Old Victoria Park SSC grounds on 19th and 20th of March 1948.

The Josephian team was led by that brilliant all rounder Joe de Mel and the Peterites were under Mike Chanmugan another versatile allrounder produced by the Bambalapitiya school. It was significant that from the very first second that the two captains went out to middle to toss for the choice of innings at the old SSC grounds, Victoria park; this game became Joe de Mel’s match. He won the first battle by winning the all important toss and without any hesitation elected to bat first on a perfect Batting strip. Yet within few minutes it was St Peter’s match. Out strode Joe de Mel again and Josephians were back in the fight, sensation followed sensation, fortune swayed from side to side and by the end of the first day; It was Joe de Mel’s match again.

On the second day within hours St Peter’s wrested the control back but for a brief period it was anybody’s game and it almost became no body’s game till ex- Josephian. Gerry Jayasuriya the Peterite tailender enlivened proceedings and when the fate of the match was in the balance. Then Joe de Mel; The Josephian skipper himself administered the ‘coup de grace’ and dealt the final blow to the Peterite hopes by bowling last man Gerry Jayasuriya out to give the Darley Road School a historic seven run victory! There is no doubt this is the most thrilling encounter played in this 75-year-old Battle of the Saints history.

As you look at the the match of 1948 in general the Peterites look a more formidable outfit packed with experience. They had six coloursmen who represented the Dion Walles’s invincible teams in the previous two years. They included the captain himself Mike Chanmugan, Harold de Silva, Darrel Weinman (later a famous neuro surgeon). Oswald Martinus, Douglas Fernando, Malcolm Vanakardie but yet they tasted defeat at the hands of Royal and St. Anthony’s.

On the other hand the Josephians looked a fresher laden side with only skipper Joe de Mel and Tommy Rodrigo being the Coloursmen. However they remained unbeaten throughout the season. To recount and recollect this historic encounter Joes started disastrously by losing four wickets for just 25 runs. But some intelligent batting by No. 04 bat Oscar Dalpethado and skipper de Mel; Joes reached a modest 180 in their first innings. Bobby Ghouse was the pick of the Peterite bowlers where he took an impressive five for 42.

When the Peterites started their innings they were well on course for a huge first innings total when they were sitting pretty at 116 for four. Then Joe de Mel strategically introduced to the attack and what a remarkable turn around of events thereafter. The game had taken a sudden turn and Peterites lost their last six wickets for the addition of just 18 runs. Finally the Petes were bundled out for paltry 134. The chief wreckers were Joe de Mel and Reggie Bagot who claimed 3 for 15 and 3 for 32 respectively. When the second day resumed the Josephians enjoyed a slender 46 run lead.

However their fortunes soon were in “Rough Waters” when Peterite spinner Malcolm Vanakardie bowling to an impeccable line. The Joes could muster only 88 runs in the second essay and Petes were left with 134 runs target with an ample time of 3 ½ hours of Play Left. Malcolm Vanakardie took 6 for 17 to destroy the Josephians in their second innings. Joes walked in to the field with much determination to defend this mere 134 runs openers cheaply. Then Harold de Silva and Bobby Ghouse the score to 90 for the loss of 04 wickets. Petes were left with 44 runs to get and their supporters looked jubilant since they were heading for ‘Hatrick’ of wins. At this moment Lucien Dep chipped in with two quick wickets, Donald Perera ended Harold de Silva’s resolute defence and the wicket of Hingert; Petes slumped from 90 for 4 to 93 for 8. Then a brief batting display of Carlton Senewiratne and Gerry Jayasuriya took the score to 121 for 08 which somewhat revived the Peterite hopes. Joe de Mel was once again in the thick of the action when he brought off a spectacular catch to dismiss Senewiratne off Dep for 09 and that brought the last Peterite batsman A. Nathan to the wicket.

When the score reached 127 skipper Joe de Mel the Josephian skipper brought himself on. In his second ball de Mel disturbed the defence of Jayasuriya and sent his stumps Cartwheeling! A sensational game of cricket was over and the ground was packed with Josephians with blue and white flags fluttering with sea of heads. Finally, Joes have clinched it by a whisker! A seven run win for the Darley Road School.

Like the Wijayaratne dynasty of St Joseph’s the de Mel brothers too have turned a golden leaf in the history books of this great Institution. Royce de Mel was the eldest of the six brothers who excelled in athletics and later went on to be the first Sri Lankan Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. He was followed by Maurice de Mel, Rodney de Mel, Carl de Mel, Cletus de Mel and the youngest Joe de Mel (Now Rev. Fr. Joe de Mel) brought much repute to their Alma Mater by excelling in athletics and cricket respectively.

His grand nephew Prasan Leanage was a contemporary of yours, truly and a renowned cricketing warrior who led the Darley Road School at Cricket in 1989 and at present rendering a yeoman service by heading the Cricket Advisory of St. Joseph’s. “Rev. Fr. Joe de Mel still a source of inspiration. He loved and still continues to love sports and particularly Josephian cricket. He is an exemplary warrior in God’s World” observed Rev. Fr. Sylvester Ranasinghe the present rector of St. Joseph’s. To his opponents Joe de Mel was constantly an image of sullen defiance. His friendly and smiling face ; sometimes rushed his opponent to think too kindly of his prowess and his astuteness. As it has been said before of him no one ever saw him perform on or off the field with anything but grace and dignity.

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