Ananda College stopped Nalanda College ’s march to their seventh successive victory bid at the 17th Ananda- Nalanda Hockey encounter for the M.W. Karunananda Trophy at the Astro Turf, Colombo 7 last Saturday with a 2-0 win. Nalanda the better fancied team had their hopes shattered by rivals Ananda when the they scored a stunning 2-0 victory to be the proud owners of the Karunananda Trophy. Nalanda led by Ravindu Pahasara a national schools representative had the services of Indeera Bandara, Helitha Pathirana, Sudara Sachintha and Kalana Maduwantha, a host of national level players but they failed to live up to their reputation at the big encounter. Ananda a fearless outfit was led by Koliya Jayakody made his experienced Pasindu Jayasekera, Dilusha De Alwis, Niroda Liyanarachchi, Chamod Gunasekera and Osan Liyanage to fire in all their cylinders to unsettle the high riding Nalandians.
The game got off with both sides making speedy moves and exhibiting their power in defence lines, but Ananda had a better grip in the ball possession. The first half came to a end without any scoring. Anandians taking the field in the second half kept on invading the Nalanda goal area making the Nalandians to go on the defence. But half way in the second half both teams adopted an attacking strategy. In the third and fourth quarters it seemed the Nalandians had lost the grip in the game losing possession of play frequently as Ananda took advantage of the opportunities.. Ananda deputy skipper stole the limelight in the match when he went on to sound the board twice to give the Anandians a long awaited victory and finding shelter for the M.W. Karunananda Trophy at Maradana taking their to tally five wins to Nalandians eleven wins in the series. Dilusha De Alwis was adjudged the Best Player of the Match for his outstanding contribution towards Ananda’s win. – Lakshman Ranasinghe;
Pix by Ranjith Perera