The Royal College Under 19 Badminton Team emerged Semi Finalists and secured the 4th position at the Western Province Inter Schools’ Badminton Championship recently concluded at the Nalanda College Badminton Courts on Saturday the 13th of June.
It was an immense battle between the Shuttlers of Royal College and opposing schools at this prestigious tournament considered the second most important event of the Badminton Calendar of Royal College after the Royal Thomian Encounter.
Royal College captained by Harindu Adikari won major honours at this tournament although the final result expected by the Royalists weren’t achieved. Royal College, leading up to the Semi Finals thrashed Maris Stella College, Negombo and Rajasinghe Central College respectively in the first and second round matches. Royal Secured a whitewash in both of these match ups not losing a single set and beating the above mentioned schools by 3 matches to nil.
The three singles for Royal College were played by skipper and experienced campaigner Harindu Adikari, Vice Captain Dinuka Kaluarachchi, and Thevin Rahubadda. Royal had reached the Semi Final stage of the Tournament and the match up was against the Mighty Anandians. Anandians consisting of 3 National Players defeated Royal College by 3 matches to nil.
Although the score line does not suggest it the Royalists played a brilliant game. The first match was between Maduka Dulanjana of Ananda College and Thevin Rahubadda of Royal College. After an intense battle the Anandian won the match in a heated 3 setter which went down to the wire. The next match was between Royal College vice Captain Dinuka Kaluarachchi and yet again an Anandian National player Pulina Amaranayake. The experienced Anandian overcame strong competition although having it easy in the second set to beat Royal 2 sets to nil.
The best was yet to come. This was the match up all of us had been waiting for. It was the National Champion of his age group Anandian, Dakshika Goonatilake versus Royal Skipper Harindu Adikari. The first set saw the Anandian take major honours by beating the skipper by 21 points to 16. The second set saw a major boost in the confidence of the Royal Skipper where with much difficulty he managed to beat the National Champion by a score of 21 to 16 yet again.
It was the set that would decide the fate of the Royalists. Whether months of practice would go crashing out the window or whether Royal College would be able to regain the much lost fame in the Badminton circuit. Both players were pumped up. It was the National Champion against the Royal Captain. After a closely fought out first half of the match the scores read 18-19 in favour of the Anandian. After a minor unforced error the Anandian managed to be a point away from Victory. Scores read Ananda 20- Royal 18. The Anandian served. Harindu smashed it across his back hand to gain a point much to the delight of not only Royalists but also opposing schools who saw the Royal Captain giving the fight of his life against the National Champion. It was Harindu who served. He flicked a short serve which then the Anandian cross smashed. Harindu had defended the first smash. But the Anandian was not over. He kept attacking much to hishis dismay as the Royalist defended every single attack. Harindu finally succumbed when Dakshika tapped the shuttle over the net. An impossible shot to defend. Royal College had lost. Lost but, with major honours. Royal College were out of the Tournament but a new dawn had already begun for the Royal Shuttlers. Lost pride was newly found and a sense of confidence was in the Royal Camp despite the defeat. One that should be most looked forward to in the month of October, where Royal meet Traditional Rivals, S. Thomas’ College at the Royal Thomian Encounter at the Royal College Sports Complex this time around.
Royal College was coached by former captain Ranil Thilakaratna and he was assisted by Imandha Nimalchandra.
Royal College under 19 team :
Captain – Harindu Adikari
Vice Captian – Dinuka Kaluarachchi
Dinuka de Zoysa
Teacher in Charge : Mr. Pradeep Nishantha