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Pathana-Wesley clash for prestige

May 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 


By Chris Dhambarage

Isipathana College and Wesley College will be hoping to conclude the Singer Inter-Schools League Tournament on a high note when they clash in their Under-20 rugby encounter at Havelock Park on Saturday (20).

Both teams of course will be looking to bounce back after they had a major setback last week where their league title hopes were shattered following two shock defeats.

The defending champions Isipathana surrendered to their arch rivals Trinity College 10-15 in an exciting contest played at Pallekele while Wesley went down to Royal 19-35 in their fixture played at the Royal Complex.

But the two teams believe that they still have something to achieve in this tournament as the winner of this game could probably have the chance of finishing as the runners-up of the league.

In fact, for the Wesleyites it will certainly be a near ‘dream cometrue’if they couldachieve their goal as never before they havehad so much of success in an Inter-Schools Under-20 League Tournament in the recent past.

No doubt the school of Campbell Park may be quite disappointed that they missed out a great opportunity of winning their maiden Under-20 League title.

However, they could still look back at their performances with great pride as they were able to topple some of the more fancied opponents in the first-round as well as in the important Cup Championship Segment.

Overall, this was a fantastic performance from the Wesleyites considering the fact that they had conceded the opening match of the tournament tamely to Trinity by a huge margin of 24-64 in Colombo.

This will also be the last chance for Isipathana to showcase their talent potential in the league tournament before they begin their preparations for the upcoming knock-out championship.

They will be really satisfied if they could pull off this game and finish in the second place of the points table considering the fact that they had put a lot hard work to maintain high standards on the field.

In addition, the cynosure of all eyes will be on the individual brilliance of Isipathana’s full back Chamodh Fernando and Wesley’s dynamic fly half Avishka Lee who have made a great amount of contribution for their respective teams.

In fact, Fernando is one of the leading try scorers in the league tournament with eight tries to his credit having also impressed as a reliable place kicker with a total of 15 conversions.

Meanwhile, Lee has been the main source of inspiration for Wesley having made his presence felt in every outing with five tries, nine penalties and 15 conversions under his belt for a fantastic overall contribution of 82 points.

Pathana to face acid test from Zahira

April 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 


By Chris Dhambarage

Isipathana College will face an acid test when they take on Zahira College in their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament second-round opening fixture at Havelock Park on Friday (28).

Zahira have always proved that they could be a dangerous outfit with some outstanding rugby this season and are capable of bringing down even the best on their day.

Despite making a comeback into ‘A’ Division Rugby after a lapse of many years,Zahira have won plenty of admiration for their robust style of play which has surprised quite a number of schools this year.

In fact, Zahira were able to finish among the top four teams in the Segment 11A points table after having recorded two stunning victories over Science College Mount Lavinia (19-13) and Prince of Wales (64-12) respectively.

The significant feature in Zahira’s performances this season was that they were able to stretch every opposition to the maximum before eventually going down fighting.

Altogether, Zahira could consider themselves rather unfortunate considering the fact that some of their games were very close and they were beaten by a couple of points in the end.

Theirmatches against S. Thomas’ College (24-29), Trinity College (26-34) and Wesley College (29-32) are classic examples of theirspirited performances as their opponents were severely tested until the final whistle.

Even then, Isipathana will start as clear favourites to pull off the game considering the fact that they are in tremendous form after completing the first-round of the tournament quite successfully.

The defending champions of course suffered a major setback mid-way in the season when they lost to St. Peter’s College (15-32) at Bambalapitiya.

However, Isipathana were able to make amends and still they finished on top of the Segment 1A points table after recording victories over Dharmaraja College (18-12), St. Joseph’s College (39-32), St. Anthony’s College (43-35), Royal College (22-17) and D. S. Senanayake College (69-13) respectively.

They will be hoping to maintain the same form in the second-round as well even though they are certain to receive some tough opposition from an unpredictable Zahira team.

In fact, Zahira’s two main weapons will be their play maker Zaid Singhawansa and Yuzraan Lantra who have been simply brilliant on the field throughout their first-round matches.

Singhawansa has emerged as the highest points’ scorer so far in the current season with six tries, five penalties and 16 conversions to his credit.

In addition, Lantra has scored nine spectacular tries during their five matches in the first-round and once again he could cause a major threat to the opposition.

Meanwhile, Isipathana’s star player this season has been Chamod Fernando who has planted seven magnificent tries in addition to making eight conversions during their six outings in the first-round.

In addition, a lot will also depend on the experienced players Harith Bandara and N. Chaminda who have scored four tries each in the current season.

Live updates: Isipathana College vs Thurstan College

February 24, 2017 by · 1 Comment 


Result: Match drawn

18:31 – Isipathana College 2nd innings 68/6 in 26 overs at close 

R. Gunawardena 3/31, K. Madushanka 2/32

15:38 – Isipathana College 2nd innings (target 219) 3/1 in 2 overs

15:09 – Thurstan College 2nd innings 131/7 declared in 34 overs

C. Nanayakkara 55, N. Wanniarachchi 3/58, A. Siriwardena 2/29.

14:25 – Thurstan College 2nd innings 99/4 in 27 overs

C. Nanayakkara 53 n.o.

13:59 – Thurstan College 2nd innings 70/4 in 23 overs

C. Nanayakkara 34 n.o.

13:19 – Thurstan College 2nd innings 38/3 in 13 overs

12:54 – Thurstan College 2nd innings 16/2 in 6 overs.

11:34 – Isipathana College 1st innings 141 all out in 44.1 overs

10:25 – Isipathana College 1st innings 98/5 in 29 overs

Day two 

17:53 – Isipathana College 1st innings 78/3 in 23 overs at close 

K. Perera 20

17:01 – Isipathana College 1st innings 65/2 in 15 overs

15:55 – Isipathana College 1st innings 18/0 in 4 overs

15:19 – Thurstan College 1st innings 228 all out in 56.1 overs

N. Lakshan 28, N. Samarakoon 24, L. Dilshan 3/35

14:42 – Thurstan College 1st innings 205/7 in 47 overs

C. Nanayakkara 58, L. Dilshan 3/35

13:53 – Thurstan College 1st innings 166/6 in 36 overs

N. Samarakoon 33 n.o.

12:40 – Thurstan College 1st innings 129/5 in 28 overs

C. Nanayakkara 43 n.o, N. Wanniarachchi 3/38

12:15 – Thurstan College 1st innings 97/5 in 21 overs

C. Nanayakkara 20 n.o.

10:58 – Thurstan College 1st innings 45/2 in 9 overs

K. Abeyratne 25 n.o.

10:28 – Thurstan College 1st innings 24/2 in 4 overs

9:50 – Isipathana College won the toss and elected to field

Home ground could finally be a reality for Pathana

September 14, 2016 by · 4 Comments 


Triple schools-rugby title-winning Isipathana College may finally have a ground of their own, if an initiative led by Minister of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Development Harin Fernando proves successful.

Harin Rugby insert

Isipathana, despite being the most successful rugby playing school in the country for almost three decades, has not had the privilege of playing ‘home’ matches as they do not have a ground of their own. The ‘Green Machine’ played their designated home matches last season at either the nearby Havelocks Sports Club Grounds or at the CR & FC Grounds in Longdon Place.

Minister Fernando, a rugby enthusiast who played an active role in the organizing of the recent Sri Lanka Super Sevens Tournament, said that discussions were ongoing and the support of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Development Policies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama will be sought to allocate the school a ground.

“We have identified an area in Narahenpita (along Kirimandala Mawatha) and the other option is the Henry Pedris Grounds. I would prefer the latter as that is walking distance from the school,” the Minister said. “There are a few things that need to be worked out such as the cost of the place, but we are hopeful we can sort that out.”

The Minister also handed over a cheque worth over Rs. 5 million to the school – money the Minister had received after auctioning a New Zealand All Blacks jersey signed by the 2015 Rugby World Cup winning team recently – when he met school officials yesterday.

“When you look at the quality of rugby that the school has produced with the limited infrastructure that is available to them, it is unbelievable the success they have had. They have rendered an enormous service to Sri Lankan Rugby, with their talent and their Trophies, and have always been the best team with minimum facilities,” Minister Fernando said. “Some schools spend between Rs. 15-25 million every season, and Isipathana keep winning the league despite having a far smaller budget.”

The Minister, who is an oldboy of St. Joseph’s College, said he was moved to auction the signed All Blacks Jersey, which he was given when he attended the Rugby World Cup final last year, after watching the final match of the schools league tournament between Isipathana and S. Thomas’ College, where he witnessed the quality of the school’s rugby.

“Isipathana have always been the team to beat and I remember when I was eight and my cousin played for the St. Joseph’s team and beat them, what it meant to our school. The passion they have for rugby and the guts and might they show on the field is incredible and I think they are fully deserving of this donation. Schools like this must be supported and encouraged,” he said.

Senior Vice-President of the Isipathana Oldboys Association Rajeew Rodrigo confirmed that plans were afoot to sort out a ground for the school, and that a third location, Shalika Grounds, was also considered, but since it was owned by the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) it would be a difficult proposition. He said the school plays 12 outdoor sports, which would also have to be considered. The cost of development, he said, will be incurred by the school once it was given the land.

Rodrigo said that the money donated to the school would not be injected into the day to day rugby expenses but would be put into a fund which the school will add to yearly.

“We have decided to put this Rs. 5.1 million into a Rugby Fund, and add to it yearly so that in an event we have a sponsorship shortfall in the future we could rely on this fund,” he said.

“We are grateful to Minister Fernando for his support even though he is an oldboy of a school that is also in the ‘A’ Division. He has been involved with developing St. Joseph’s Rugby, so we are thankful that he has come forward to help us, a rival school,” he added.

Interestingly Isipathana College have advertised for a First XV Coach, following the reported signing of title-winning Coach Nilfer Ibrahim by St. Joseph’s for the upcoming season.

Pathana wants neutral venue for President’s Cup final

July 6, 2016 by · 1 Comment 


Schools league champions Isipathana College have requested the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) to move Saturday’s Milo Knockout Trophy final against Royal College to a neutral venue, sources attached to Isipathana’s rugby committee told Daily Mirror.

The final is scheduled at the Royal College Sports Complex, where the semi-finals were also played.

SLSRFA Secretary Denzil Darling confirmed that a request had been made in writing on Monday, and that a discussion will be held in this regards on Wednesday where a final decision would be arrived at.

Ministry of Education representative Sunil Jayaweera, representatives of the SLSRFA and the two schools are expected to attend this meeting.

“We have asked for a neutral venue as we feel that playing at the Royal College Sports Complex would gain an unfair advantage to the home team,” the source told Daily Mirror, adding, “This would have been the case for whichever team qualified for the final – not just Isipathana.”

“Last year, when we arrived at the venue we found that there were abnormal ground conditions – the ground was muddy. And while we have accepted that defeat, we do not want to fall into the same trap this year,” he added. “Also, the spectators will try and agitate matters during the game, and given the disadvantage we are facing and the emotions, this could lead to violence between both sides. This could be avoided if we played at a neutral venue.”

SLSRFA Secretary Denzil Darling speaking to Daily Mirror said that Isipathana College had made this request in writing and that they had agreed to discuss the matter on Wednesday, despite all schools earlier agreeing to the venue for the later stages of the tournament.

“Isipathana College wrote to us and the Education Ministry and we will have a meeting Wednesday regarding this. We made a decision before the tournament that no matter which school qualifies for the semi-finals and the finals, the games would be played at the Royal College Sports Complex. The schools agreed to this. However, they have made this request and we have agreed to discuss it,” he said.

“One of the main concerns we had, when we chose Royal Sports Complex as the venue for semis and final, was that it provided the best security for spectators. There was a lot of concern after the incident that took place at the Dharmaraja-St. Joseph’s match, and the Education Ministry asked us to seek the guidance of the Deputy Inspector General of Police to ensure security, and we had a discussion about this as well,” he said. “There were reports of damage at the CR & FC grounds after the S. Thomas’ game, so this venue provides the best security.”

Four teams to battle for finals slot

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 


The Schools U20 rugby season is now at its tail-end with just three matches left in the Milo President’s Trophy.

The first two games, the semi-final encounters of the tournament are scheduled to be played at Royal College Sports Complex ground in Reid Avenue today and tomorrow.

The winners will square off in the grand finale which is scheduled to be played on July 9 at the same venue.

The first battle is between reigning schools rugby league champions Isipathana College and St. Peter’s College while the other game is between arch-rivals Royal College and S. Thomas’ College at the same venue.

Interestingly, all four teams were in the same group of the schools league championship played earlier this year.

Isipathana vs St. Peter’s

The two teams met in the latter part of April where the Havelock Park boys prevailed with a 36-21 win in a game which they dominated in the second half.

Since then the Isipathanians led by centre Kushan Indunil have gone from strength to strength while the Peterites led by full back Sandesh Jayawickrama have had fluctuated fortunes.

Isipathana will be favourites having bagged the league title.

Skipper Kushan has a host of players in the likes of second row Sumudu Rankothge, No 8 Vageesha Weerasinghe, full back Gayan Wickramaratne, wingers Chamod Fernando and Ranidu Pramod and flankers Devin Gunaratne and Sashmitha Fernando who have all been in the forefront in Isipathana’s success to deliver the goods.

On the other hand the Peterites underwent some anxious moments in their quarter-final encounter against St. Anthony’s College, who they managed to overcome by six points (37-31) and they cannot afford to repeat that performance with the Isipathanians.

Skipper Sandesh will depend on second row Rahal Delpachithra, hooker Ravin Yapa, scrum half Avishka Heenpella, flanker Shane Gurusinghe, fly half Stephan Selvaraj and man in form and center Theekshana Dissanayake, who had a fine game last time out, to put their best foot forward if the Peterites are to make any impression.

However, with the scale in favour of the Pathanians, a closely contested game could be expected and the Peterites will also be seeking to book a slot to the final after a lapse of five years.

Royal vs S. Thomas’

These two teams met each other in the league tournament in the early part of April where the Thomians prevailed with a close 21-15 win.

Since then the Thomians led by hooker Pandula de Silva went on to remain unbeaten until the final week when they lost what turned out to be the deciding game of the league title by just four points (24-28) while the Royalists led by No 8 Nikhila Gunadheera had to be satisfied with a third place finish.

The Royalists will no doubt be coming into the game to avenge their defeat in the league encounter. On the other hand the Thomians will be looking forward for a repeat of their previous win.

All eyes in the match will be on the Thomian winger Navin Henakankanamage who scored a hat-trick of tries in their quarter final match against Zahira with one being a 80-metre dash.

In fact Navin was the thorn in the flesh of Royal in their last match as his last minute try ensured a victory for the Thomians who were trailing 14-15.

On the other hand, the Thomians will have to be more sharper this time around as they will have to confront the Royal pack which has been the gateway for them in accumulating their points.

The Thomians will miss their burly No 8 Sachitha Jayatileke who has fractured his arm and did not get onto the field in their last game against Zahira.

However skipper Pandula has the ammunition to keep the Royalists at bay and apart from Henakankanamage he has players in the caliber of prop Mahinda Deshapriya, second row Dhanuja Wijeratne, center Ashwantha Herath, full back Mayo Jayawardena, fly half Bumindra Fernando and scrum half Dion Dias from whom much will be expected.

Royal skipper Nikhila has in his ranks players in the caliber of hooker Azmir Fajudeen who has been in top form, flanker Pasindu Amarasinghe, second row Ashen Fernando, prop Ayesh Maduranga, winger Sabith Feroze, scrum half Ashok Vijayakumar and full back Ovin Askey.

S. Thomas’ last won the knockout title in 2009 while Royal’s last was in 2010 when they shared the trophy with St. Peter’s.

Thurstan plod on day one to make 252/3

February 26, 2016 by · 1 Comment 


Thurstan College plodded the whole of day one which has given a hint of the outcome of their 53rd big match encounter against traditional rivals Isipathana College, played at the SSC ground.


The highlight of the first day’s play, after Thurstan was put into bat first by Isipathana skipper Salinda Ushan, was an unbeaten knock of 125 by opener Kasun Abeyratne who was also involved in three partnerships.

Kasun’s knock was a long innings where he faced 302 balls. He hit 14 boundaries. Kasun’s three partnerships were for the second-wicket with Sajith Gunatileke for 70 runs which was followed by an 85-run stand for the third wicket with his skipper Charana Nanayakkara and then an unbeaten 60 runs for the fourth wicket with Imesha Viranga as Thurstan ended the day on 252 for 3 from the 95 overs bowled.

The second day’s play would now be of academic interest unless something dramatic takes place. Even if the Thurstanites declare at that score there is doubt that a result could be reached and most probably the match would be a repeat of last year where the two sides batted an innings each in the two day’s of play.

Kasun Abeyratne not out 125
Salinda Samaranayake c Abeywickerama b Maduwantha 12
Sajith Gunatileke c Randika b Fernando 35
Charana Nanayakkara lbw b Maduwantha 37
Imesh Viranga not out 22
Extras (b2, lb3, nb14, w2) 21
Total (3 wickets: 95 overs) 252
Fall of wickets – 1-37 (Samaranayake), 2-107 (Gunatileke), 3-192 (Nanayakkara)
Bowling – Neranjan Wanniarachchi 14-1-50-0, Ayana Siriwardena 8-2-14-0, Lahiru Dilshan 34-6-72-0, Pramod Maduwantha 14-3-46-2, Iwanka Sanjula 7-0-27-0, Heshan Fernando 13-1-25-1, Salinda Ushan 5-0-13-0

Isipathana down Trinity with second-half burst

June 13, 2015 by · 1 Comment 


Defending Singer League Under 20 champions Isipathana College continued their unbeaten run in the school Division 1A league tournament when they beat a determined Trinity College outfit 37 points (2 goals, 4 tries, 1 penalty) to 22 (2 goals, 1 try, 1 penalty) in their key school encounter which was played at the Trinity College Rugby Stadium at Pallekelle yesterday.

But at the short breather it was Trinity who led 15-8.

Trinity dominated the proceedings in the initial half playing some cohesive rugby but could not continue their good form in the second half. At times in the first half Isipathana made some critical errors but recovered later with some fantastic three-quarter running rugby which the Trinitians did not have an answer for. Trinity missed nearly three scoring chances including one on the try line, when Trinity scored in the right corner only to be disallowed by the touch judge D Nimal citing a knock on.

For Isipathana their skipper and Number 8 Omalka Gunaratne played a grand game leading the outfit. He was lightning fast on loose balls in attack it took nearly two to three Trinity players to stop him.

Trinity scored first through full back Saranga Gunatilake when the Pathana line was caught off side. But Isipathana hit back in no time through a Isuru Kongahawatte penalty.

In the next move Trinity’s Isuru Rangala collected a loose ball and ran 20 metres which ended in Diluksha Dange going over for a right corner flag try. Minutes later a well executed wing play saw Pathana Number 8 Gunaratne go over for a try. Then minutes before the short whistle Trinity full-back Saranga Gunatilake produced a piece of individual brilliance when he ran chipped and collected the ball and scored under the posts. The extra two points were added by Wijesuriya.

After the turnaround the Havelock Town lads scored through Dilshan, Alawathegama, Weerasinghe. For Trinity centre Sachintha Dissanayake score the try with full back Gunatilake adding the extra points, as Pathana pulled over.

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