S. Thomas’ beat Royal at EFC Pereira Tennis Encounter for third consecutive year

Friday, 27 February 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The winning Thomian team     S. Thomas’ College hosted this annual encounter on their courts this year and despite winning the past two encounters the Thomians went in as the underdogs as on paper, the Royal team was far superior, boasting a Davis Cup player in Sharmal Dissanayake and two former Junior Davis Cup players as well. Furthermore the Thomians were dealt a huge blow even before the encounter started when one of their star players Avindra Perera, a current Junior Davis Cup player, was diagnosed with dengue and ruled out just two days prior to the tie. The tie started with a thriller, Jerique Rajapakse of S. Thomas’ taking on Eroo Samarasinghe of Royal College in the first single. After Jerique sped on to an early 7-4 lead Eroo crawled his way back in to the match with some patient baseline play to take the match into a deciding tie break at 8 all. The tie breaker was another close battle yet Eroo came out on top using is new found patience to pull through. Thomian captain Avishka Perera with the coveted trophy   Next on court was the 1st double where Venuka Hulangamuwa and Viranka Fernando of S. Thomas’ took on U. Raviraj and Vikum Jayasuriya. The experienced Venuka a veteran of 4 Royal Thomians paired up with the talented yet inexperienced Viranka and churned out a clinical performance to win the match 9-5. Next up, Anarga Peiris of S. Thomas’ College had the task of taking on Sri Lanka Davis cup player, Sharmal Dissanayake of Royal College. In a one sided match talented and experienced Sharmal pulled all his tricks out of the bag to nullify the fight Anarga put up to run away with a 9-0 win. At this stage the tie was at 2-1 in favour of the Royalists. Amandha Gunawardane and the talented youngster Yasith Rathnayake played the first of the must win matches for S. Thomas’ and they were up against B. Suren and S.C. Kuganesan. The Royal pair sped off to an early 4-0 lead. However Amandha and Yasith had other ideas than to allow the Royalists to run away with an easy win and fought back to make it 3-4. Thereafter it was neck and neck until at 7 all they broke the Royalist’s serve to lead 8-7 and serve for the match. But yet again in a game swinging both ways the Royalists broke back to send the match to a tie breaker and used the momentum to race to a 6-4 lead in the tie break and earn two match points. Nevertheless the gritty Thomians kept up their fight to crawl back into the match keeping S. Thomas’ in the tie. After saving 6 match points Yasith and Amandha finally came through to win this thrilling match on their second match point to send the tie to the deciding match, the 3rd Single. The Third Single was played between the two captains Avishka Perera of S.Thomas’ College and Dhanushka Abeyawardena of Royal College, childhood friends, and both playing their last Royal-Thomian tennis match! It was the Thomian captain Avishka Perera who stepped up his game to win the match and therefore the Royal-Thomian Encounter for STC, with a scintillating display of tennis living up to his card of being a big match player. 1st Single - Jerique Rajapakse (STC) lost 9-8 to E. Samarasinghe. 1st Doubles- Venuka Hulangamuwa and Viranka Fernando (STC) beat U Raviraj and V. Jayasuriya 9-5 2nd Single - Anarga Peiris (STC) lost 9-0 to S. Dissanayake 2nd Doubles - Amandha Gunawardane and Yasith Rathnayake (STC) beat B. Suren and S.C. Kuganesan 9-8 3rd Single - Avishka Perera (STC) beat D. Abeyawardena 9-1 The Thomian team consisted of: Avishka Perera, Venuka Hulangamuwa, Senal Munasinghe, Sebastian Sansoni, Amandha Gunawardane, Anarga Peiris, Jerique Rajapaksha, Viranka Fernando and Yasith Rathnayake The Royal team consisted of: Dhanushka Abeyawardena, Senith Abeynayake, Sharmal Dissanayake, Eroo Samarasinghe, Balachandran Suren, Subash Chandra Kuganesan, Udishtran Raviraj, V. Jayasuriya, Tharin Munasinghe and Mihindu Samarasinghe The Under 13 and Under 15 ties were both won very easily by Royal by 3 matches to 1. Anjana De Silva was the Referee.