St. Peter’s under-17 tennis team followed their under-15 team to fame by winning the All-Island U-17 tennis championship concluded at the SLTA courts on June 15.
St. Peter’s lacked big names but were confident about their abilities. They began against defending champions Ananda and the star studded S. Thomas’ very well.
They were in group ‘B’ with favourites S. Thomas’ Mt. Lavinia, St. Benedict’s and Trinity.
After gaining wins over St. Benedict’s and Trinity, St. Peter’s were up against favourites in the group decider S. Thomas’.
Thomians got off to a good start with their star player Avindra Perera beating S. Innthujan 9/3. Then another Sri Lanka player Thomian Jerique Rajapakse with partner Dulitha Ellawala beat the Peterites 9/1.
Isuru Wijeratne had to win to keep Peterites in the contest. He went on to win 9/2 to keep their hopes alive.
The second doubles was usually the decider in the tie but the Peterites pair of U. Srinath and Kavinka Fernando played so well that they registered a comprehensive 9/0 win over the Thomian pair of Anarga Peiris and Vihan Herath.
The next singles match saw Mark Seneviratne of St. Peter’s emerge victorious 9/2 to give them the top spot in the group.
Ananda beat Royal to become group ‘A’ champions before the semi-final lineup was decided. St. Peter’s had to meet Royal while Ananda met S. Thomas’.
The Peterites went about their business and beat the gutty Royal 3 matches to nil. S. Thomas’ had the better of Ananda in a ding-dong battle in the other semi-final.
S. Thomas’ drew first blood in the final when Rajapakse won to lead 1/0. The first doubles match saw St. Peter’s changing their strategy and entered Isuru Wijeratne with Mark Seneviratne as a surprise combination. This whoever worked well for them and them win 6/2, 6/1 to level at 1-all.
Avindra Perera maintained his unbeaten record and won to put S. Thomas ahead 2/1 in the final.
Peterites focused on the doubles and featured the dependable pair of U. Srinath and Kavinka Fernando who went on to win 6/2, 6/0 to level 2/all.
The deciding singles match was played between S. Innthujan of St. Peter’s and Anarga Peiris for S. Thomas’. Innthujan won the first set on 6/2. He went on to win the second set as well on 6/2 and seal the title for St. Peter’s.
Peterites are coached by Dinith Pathiraja.The winning Peterite team consisted Kavinka Fernando, U. Srinath, Isuru Wijeratne, Mark Seneviratne, S. Innthujan, Meshan Nanayakkara, Adhel Reza and T. Vibhashan.