Tuesday, 16 October 2012

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Boteju retains crown in thriller

Wins national snooker title for the 15th occasion:

Reigning National Champion Susantha Boteju of YMCA secured his crown for the 15th time after a stiff battle against Naresh Wickramaratne of Galle YMBA beating him by seven frames to six (61/76, 65/66, 61/67, 42/51, 56/20, 39/55, 50/53, 58/16, 61/32, 69/64, 57/7, 77/13, 74/42) and walked away with the U.W. Sumathipala Memorial Championship shield in the 60th National Snooker Championship final played at the Sugathadasa Sports hotel yesterday.

It was Naresh who took the early lead by winning first four sets in a row. Boteju won the fifth frame but was not able to continue his winning spree in the following two frames as Naresh regained the lead by winning sixth and seventh frames. But Boteju used all his experience and came back strongly in the latter part. Even though he has displayed an awful performance during the first six frames of the final, Boteju tuned up to his usual rhythm after the seventh frame.

Boteju won all remaining five frames while making inexperienced Naresh excited.

It was a thrilling final for the spectators as the game scaled in favour of both players at different levels. Naresh got panic with Botejuís sudden come back and was not able to regain control of the game and had to lose the crown in a whisker.

Rayan Somaratne secured the third place taming M. I. M. Isham by two frames to nil (69/50, 65/52).

The National Championship was sponsored by the Sumathi Group of Companies for the 13th consecutive year and commenced in June with 183 players taking part in District level competition from Colombo (95), Kandy (67) and Galle (21). Altogether 33 players entered the All Island competition where eight of them were qualified for the national level to compete for the supremacy along with 24 cuists who are already at national level. Sumathi group Director Jagath Sumathipala was the chief guest at the award ceremony while MAGA construction Chairman Capt. M. G. Kularatne participated as the guest of honour.


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