Friday, 1 October 2004  
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Royal-Thomian battle for Pereira Trophy

The two most prestigious schools in the country Royal and S. Thomas' will meet in the second annual Tennis encounter for the E.F.C. Pereira Memorial Trophy on the 2nd of October. The game commencing at 4.00 pm at the S. Thomas' courts will continue into the night where it will be played under flood lights which is the latest acquisitions to the Thomian tennis program in a bit to improve and encourage the game among its students. If bad weather prevails the matches will be played on the 3rd of October at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association on hard court starting at 8.00 a.m.

Though tennis has been played among boys' schools for nearly 50 years for the annual public schools title this encounter which was inaugurated in 2003 is the first inter-school annual tennis encounter.

This encounter will be played in 3 age groups, under 13, under 15 and under 19. Three singles and two doubles games will be worked off in each category. The Thomians are led by Samitha Ramanayake while the Royalists will be captained by Harshana Godamanne. The Thomians who are coached by Arul Amalanath are the underdogs and the Royalists are coached by Sylvester Francis.

The chief guest on this occasion will be Arjun Fernando a distinguished Old Royalist. The Royal team has been in blazing form throughout the season and has won the tennis championship at the National School Games, and has done well at the Public Schools Tennis Championships. Also they are holders of the Trophy. Harshana Godamanne and Franklin Emmaunuel of Royal have represented Sri Lanka at Davis Cup and ITF tournaments while Sashivaren Sabanathan, Udith Wickramasingha and Sasith Wickramasinghe too have represented Sri Lanka at the junior level.

The Thomians are an inexperienced side but Ravindrakumar Kohulan has represented Sri Lanka at junior level while Prathaj Haputhantrhi and Daham Rathnayake are capable of turning tables. Though the Thomians come out as the underdogs the mere presence of the Royalists could spur the Blue Blacks to display their true Thomian grit.

The trophy donated by D. L. Senevirathne in memory of E.F.C. Pereira had a career spanning for over 60 years at Royal and S. Thomas' and was a live wire in boys' schools tennis during the period 1950-1970.

Though this trophy was awarded to the overall champions last year from this year it will be awarded only to the winner of the Under 19 age group.


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