Heavy rains at the SSC marked the beginning of the 2nd annual Royal-Thomian Squash Encounter. The evening set off with old boys of either institution reminding them the bygone days and memories with the friendly old boys’ match. After an intriguing battle we saw the old boys making a 3-1 victory in favour of Royal College.
Next in line was the U-15 encounter; a reminder to all about the promising future of Squash in both institutions. A match displaying much talent, it ended with a close call of 3-2 with Royal emerging victorious. Afterwards we saw the Royal College 2nd VI (B team) battling out each other to lay the foundation for the grand finale of the evening.
As the much awaited event for the evening came about, crowds gathered towards the courts raising their voices in joyous cheer for either school. The teams lining up for the College anthems followed with the first match in the U-19 category. This match played between Rashendra Rajaratne, Captain of the Royal side against T. Jayasekera ended with an easy win for Royal College (3 – 0). A 3rd year school Coloursman and a 5th time national Coloursman, Rashendra Rajaratna displayed exception talent in this match. The next match saw fresher, Heshan Balasooriya battling out with Chitesh Rambukpotha, the captain of the Thomian side. This too ended with Royal emerging victorious (3 – 1). The 3rd match for the evening was between Druvinka Perera, another fresher on the Royal side, and Indeera Wijepura. An intense match swaying either way, it managed to keep the crowd enthralled through out finally marking a victory for the Royal side (3 – 1). This ended the encounter with a favourable result for Royal College, thus retaining the shield for yet another year.
The other two line ups for the evening were not played as Royal emerged champions in the first 3 of the 5 matches. The first of the remaining two was to be played between the winning captain of the previous year’s Royal side, Ruweesha Jayawardena, a 3rd year Coloursman and 4th time National Coloursman, and T. Indrakumar of S. Thomas’. The other to be played was by Buwaneka De Alwis, Vice Captain of the Royal side against J S Paul. The reserve for the Royal side was Senidu Induwara. It should also be noted that the entire Royal side for this encounter were National Coloursmen.
Thus the 2nd Annual Royal Thomian Squash ended with a clear win for the Royal College side, retaining the Shield at Reid Avenue for yet another year and revealing a bright future for Squash at College.