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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