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
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.