The 3rd Annual Royal – Thomian Squash Encounter took place on the 22nd of January, 2016 at the S.S.C Squash Courts. Royal entered into the game as the favourites after winning the 2013 and 2014 Royal – Thomian Squash Encounters. The Royal College team was captained by Buwaneka De Alwis and the S’ Thomas College team was captained by Paul Sathiyanesan.
The first event of the 3rd Royal-Thomian Squash Encounter were the U-19 “B” Team matches. The first match in this category was between Rahul De Silva and Oshan Kasthuriarachchi. From the start itself, Rahul De Silva dominated the game with impressive shot selections. the first match came to an end with Rahul De Silva winning straights against Oshan Kasthuriarachchi, Royal lead after the first match 1-0.
The second match was between Yukthi Napagoda and Tharindu Jayasekara. It was a close match which was by no means easy for Napagoda. Tharindu Jayasekara, a Thomian coloursman, won the 1st set. However, Napagoda, was able to execute his game plan to win the 2nd set, leaving the Thomians hanging in the balance. Unfortunately, the highly physical 3rd and 4th sets, both of which exceeded 11 points, were won by Jayasekara making the score 1-1 after the second match.
The 3rd match was between Ashan Attapattu and Mishara Sapukotanage. Though Sapukotanage won the 1st set, Ashan Attapattu struck back vigorously to win the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sets to keep the lads from Reid Avenue in the lead 2-1.
The 4th match was between Hasaru Weerasinghe and Yehen Dias, Hasaru Weerasinghe struck back to back by defeating Yehen Dias under 5 points in all three sets. destroying Thomian hopes; Royal College was able to win the U-19 “B” Team event with a score of 4-1.
The next event was the Royal College old boys vs. S. Thomas’ College old boys match. Royal College old boys managed to win all three matches comfortably. The first match was between Dilshan Senaratne and Nilukshan Jayasekara and the second match was between Hasala Gamalath and Gayath sumanaratne and the final match was between Devin Ediriweera and Rodrigo. Royal College won the old boys match 3-0.
The most anticipated “A” Team matches began after the arrival of the Chief Guest Mr. Rajiv Malalasekara & other dignitaries. Royalists showed no mercy to the Thomians when Royal decided to play the matches with their strong order. The “A” team lineup was Ruweesha Jayawardena, Druvinka Perera, Rashendra Rajarathne, Heshan Balasuriya and Buwaneka De Alwis 6th man- Senidu Induwara.
The first match was between Ruweesha Jayawardena and vice-captain Abishek Rambukpotha. Abishek Rambukpotha was unable to trouble Ruweesha Jayawardena once he started firing point after point. Jayawardena was able to win all 3 sets with a score of 11/5, 11/3, 11/3. With that win, Royal started leading the score 1-0. The second match was between Druvinka Perera and Indeera Wijeyapura, an interesting match where the crowd came alive. Through various tactics to overcome, the sixteen-year-old Druvinka Perera who proved to be a nightmare to the Thomian side won straight sets by defeating his opponent 11/4, 11/3, 11/4. After the second match, Royal was leading 2-0. The third match or the decider was between Rashendra Rajarathne and Thenuka Indrakumar. From the start, both players were playing a good game. Rashendra Rajarathne fought for every single point he can possibly get.
Rashendra Rajarathne won the first set however Thenuka Indrakumar was able to win the second set that brought a little bit of hope to the Thomians. From the 3rd set onwards Rajarathne, deciding not to give a single chance to Indrakumar. Rashendra Rajarathne won the 3rd and 4th sets to seal the victory 3-0; Rashendra Rajarathne won 4:1 sets 11/5, 10/12, 11/6, 11/5.
Royal College won the 3rd Royal-Thomian Squash Encounter with ease by making three back to back victories in three consecutive years. With that, the 3rd Royal-Thomian Sqaush Encounter came to an end. Royal emerged victorious in U-19 “A” Team, U-19 “B” Team as well as the old boys match.