Defending champs familians Kurunegala in line to retain title
Defending champions Holy Family Convent Kurunegala have put themselves in a strong position of retaining the All Island Schools Netball Championship title for the fifth successive year at the end of the penultimate day of the 21st Milo All Island Schools Netball Championship being held at the Kaduruwela National ground in Polonnaruwa. The defending champions had a team each advancing to the quarter finals in all four age groups (Under 12, 14, 16 and 18) of the Division 'A' category.
In the under 12 category the Familians from Kurunegala overcame Dutugemunu BV Buttala (17-7) and followed with wins against Bakmeedeniya BV Amparai (28-10), Mahamaya Girl's School Kandy (25-5) and Yasodara BV Gampaha (32-12) in the under 14, 16 and 18 age groups respectively.
Last year’s runner up Kalutara BV too had their four teams advancing to the quarter finals and the Familians no doubt would face stiff opposition from them this year too. Kalutara BV beat Gintota BV Galle (9-0), Pannala National School (1513), Devi BV (28-10) and Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya (23-21) in the four age groups to enter the quarters.
The quarter finals are scheduled to be played from 8.00 a.m. in the morning today which will be followed by the semi final encounters. The quarter final matches scheduled to be played in the morning are
Under 12 – Viharamahadevi BV Badulla vs. Musaeus Colombo, Sri Siddartha MV Eppawala vs. Kalutara BV, Visakha BV Colombo vs. Pannala NS and Mahanaga MV Ranwala vs. Holy Family Convent Kurunegala.
Under 14 – Siddartha MMV Eppawala vs. Dharmapala MV Pannipitiya, Holy Cross Gampaha vs. Kalutara BV, Ananda BV vs. Viharamahadevi BV Badulla and Ave Maria Convent Negombo vs. Holy Family Convent Kurunegala.
Under 16 – Kalutara BV vs. Visakha BV Colombo, Sirimavo Bandaranaike BV vs. Girl's High School Kandy, Musaeus Colombo vs. Ave Maria Convent Negombo and Gothami BV Borella vs. Holy Family Convent Kurunegala. Under 18 – Musaeus Colombo vs. Prajapathi Gothami BV Ambalangoda, Union Vidyalaya Jaffna vs. Kalutara BV, Girl's High School Kandy vs. Newstead BV Negombo and Sacred Heart Convent Galle vs. Holy Family Convent Kurunegala.
The semi finals of the two categories Division ' A' and ' B' are scheduled to be played before 1.00 p.m. with the finals due to be played from 2.30 p.m. onwards. The 21st All Island Schools Netball Championship conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Netball Association and sponsored by Nestle Lanka Ltd for the 21st year saw over 1035 teams participating which is an increase from the 937 teams that took part last year.
By M Shamil Amith