Wesley and Royal will battle for the fourth year when they clash for the Dudley de Silva Shield in their annual hockey encounter which is scheduled to be played on November 4 at Campbell Park from 4.30 p.m. onwards.
The shield has been donated by the Old Boys in honour on behalf of one of their distinguished students Dudley Kenneth George de Silva who began his education at Royal and went on to graduate from the University of Colombo.
The late Dudley had completed his higher studies, and the leading educationist had the honour of being the principal of his alma mater from 1954 to 1956. Beside his academic career he took a keen interest in promoting arts and culture where he too excelled as a fine organist who trained the college choir.
During his tenure as the principal Dudley was responsible in introducing rowing, hockey, basketball and rifle shooting and also initiated in organizing various societies and clubs at Royal.
The services rendered by Dudley motivated the OBU of Royal as a gratitude to offer a shield in his memory for the annual hockey encounter between two of the oldest schools in Sri Lanka.
The two schools have produced outstanding hockey players who have represented their alma mater and the country with distinction.
Top of the list at Wesley ranks the invincible Alfred Mylvaganam and Rohan Amarasinghe who were both internationals in the playing and umpiring categories.
The other top players from Wesley to turn out for the national team were Lou Adihetty, M.T. Swangsa, C.T. Rodrigo, Raja Jayasooriya, Shanthi Mclelland who is the incumbent principal of Wesley, A.L. George, Anura Dharmasiriwardena, Mansar Jhan, D.L. Perera and Asanga Jayasooriya.
Royal too had their share of players who represented the alma mater and the national side with distinction in the calibre of Lionel Almeida, H.C. Rasiah, Dr. H.N. Wickramasinghe, Dr. S.S. Wickramasinghe, N. Ramanathan, Nihal Mendis, S.D.Jayaratne, M.W. Selliah, T. Krubathilakan, Godwin Daniels, Nanda Senanayake, Nihal Kodituwakku, M. Illangage, L.A.D. Sirisena, M.H. Subasinghe, Nihal Nilaweera, N.M. I. de Silva, M. Jaldin, S. Gajanayake and N. Kudalgama.
Royal this year will be led by Marlan Senanayake and he will have the services of seven experienced players while Wesley led by Jatoosh Parameshwaran will have the services of four senior players.
With Royal having won the previous three encounters they will go all out to retain the shield for the fourth time with Wesley looking forward to chalk up their first win of the series.
Looking back at the performances of the two sides this season it seems the scale are in favour of the Wesleyites who have had a successful season this year.
Nevertheless an interesting tussle is on the cards with Royal having won the previous three encounters will no doubt go all out to retain it for the fourth year with Wesley looking forward to chalk up their first win of the series.
Apart from shield that is on offer the best player of the match will receive the R.O.D. Paul memorial challenge cup.
By M.Shamil Amit