A strong Indian outfit fought back in the final few minutes to draw level in the 1st girls Water polo encounter yesterday (20th) while the Indian lads defeated the Sri Lankan team in the second game of the three-match series to take the gold medal honours.
Full-time scores: Sri Lanka Junior Boys 6 – India Junior Boys 7 & Sri Lanka Junior Girls 12 – Indian Junior Girls 12
The Sri Lankan junior girls team who faced team India for the first time in the two-match series that adds up to the five-match water polo series could not hold on to their opponents in the final eight minutes as they drew level at 12-12 to conclude the first match.
The Lankan girls led by Visakhian Shaleena Peiris was the better team out of the two teams for three-quarters as they led 10-7 at the conclusion of the 24th minute of play. Drawing first blood was India’s Anushi Das with a long range shot while Sri Lanka was quick to reply as Tusari Ekanayake scored two goals in quick succession. With another strike from Shenara David, Sri Lanka amassed a total of 3 goals but India took the lead at the end of the first quarter with 4 goals.
The second quarter was a defensive eight minutes for both teams but Sri Lanka was lucky enough to draw level as Tusari Ekanayake completed her hat-trick with a goal during the 6th minute.
It was the third quarter in which Sri Lanka hit the gas pedal as six goals came reeling in for the Sri Lankans in reply to India’s 2 goals. Tusari Ekanayake led the third quarter from the frontline with some good passing by skipper Shaleena Peiris and went on two scores two goals out of the six. The other four were scored by Sashi Weerawarana, Shaleena Peiris, Shenara David and Nadishika Samaranayake.
With a 10-7 lead going into the third quarter, it was the Indian team that took the centerstage with their fitness scoring five goals to move on to 12 in total. Sri Lanka replied strongly with goals from the reliable Tusari Ekanayake and Sashi Weerawarana as they levelled at 12-12 at the final whistle.
The second encounter will be played on Saturday the 22nd of October at 10.00 a.m. and will be the medal decider.
Goal Scorers: Sri Lanka – Tusari Ekanayake (6), Shenara David (2), Sashi Weerawarana (2), Nadishka Samaranayake, Shaleena Peiris
India – Piyali Santra (4), Anushi Das (4), Drishya (2), Kelayathri Mithra, Pooja Kembare,
India seal boys’ Water polo Gold
The Sri Lankan junior boys’ team closed in on the Indian team towards the latter end of play but couldn’t edge them over as the visitors won the second encounter 6-7 securing the gold medal at the South Asian Aquatic Championship.
Sri Lanka didn’t have a good start and scored only one goal off the efforts of Kisal Assalarachchi in the first half in reply to India’s three goals. India’s Sarong Vaidya contributed with two goals while Kumarjith Gupta contributed with one.
Both teams scored two goals apiece in the second half with skipper Ashane Francis finally breaking through the tough defensive lines laid by India followed by Isura Kahandawela. Sri Lanka gradually made the comeback in the scoring in the second half with the hosts scoring two goals which was replied by a single goal by the Indians. Goals in the third quarter came in from Savinda Dissanayake and Isura Kahandawala as Sri Lanka were only a goal behind going into the final quarter (5-6).
That single goal proved to be the difference between a gold and a silver medal as Sri Lanka’s Kisal Assalarachchi’s single goal was not enough to win it for the Sri Lankans. India’s Bhagesh Kulha slotted in a final goal as India sealed a 7-6 win to win the second encounter and seal the series 2-0.
India did extremely well in attack restricting the props from scoring and danger man Sachitha Jayatilake was not spared a single attacking opportunity.
Goal scorers: India – Sarong Vaidya (3), Bhagesh Kulha, Vash Mahendale, Karthik Chandradas, Kurmith Dutta
Sri Lanka – Kisal Assalarachchi (2), Isura Kahandawela (2), Savinda Dissanayake, Ashane Francis