St. Peter’s College defied all odds and the predictions of pundits to win the All Island Under-15 tennis Title at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts at Greenpath in Colombo last week.
The Peterites were not even mentioned as a team with last year’s winners Ananda College, the 2014 Under-13 champions Royal College and the strong S. Thomas’ College touted as favourites to win.
The Peterite team was made up of Thevinda Piyadigama, Nenuka Jayatilleka, Kevin Assauw, twins Raveen and Naveen Abeygooneratne and Shehan Perera.
On the first day of the tournament the Peterites beat St. Benedict’s College and lost to Royal College 15/20.
On the second day the Peterites beat St. Joseph’s College.
In the next round of games the Peterites needed to rake in 24 points while the Thomians needed 23. In this crucial clash the Peterites sounded the first warning to their rivals when they beat the Thomians 35/0 to top the group.
The Peterites won their semi final against Lyceum Nugegoda to set up a final with Ananda College.
In the final Thevinda Piyadigama got the Peterites off to a perfect start by winning his match 6/1, 6/1. Then in the next match the Anandian pair of Ravindu Palliyaguru and Vinuja Wijebandara won a good match 6/2, 6/1 to even the final.
The Anadians pulled off a crucial win in the next Singles match when Praneel Jasinghe won his match 6/1, 6/4 to give the Anandians a crucial 2/1 lead.
In the fourth match the Peterite doubles pair of Kevin Assauw and Raveen Abeygooneratne got off to a great start by winning the first set 6/1.
The Anandians came back and levelled the match by winning the next set 6/2. With the Anandians taking a 3/1 lead in the final set, it looked like curtains for the Peterite pair. But the Peterites pulled it back through some gutsy tennis and eventually won it 6/4 in the third set to set up a grand finale.
Peterite Shehan Perera had a better start winning the first set 6/3. Ananda’s Dushan came back to lead the second set 3/2. But Shehan Perera clawed back to the lead and eventually won the set and with it the Championship 6/4.
The Title was a perfect tribute to the new rector of St. Peter’s College Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin who has left no room for lapses and excuses in the field of sport with strict discipline followed along with his Sports Coordinator Fr. Sharm Dassanayake who can take a lot of credit for the success of tennis at St. Peter’s College.
Bernard Jesudasan is the Master in Charge with Dinith Pathiraja completing his 18 year as coach.