The Sri Lanka University Games hockey tournament, which is held every three years with all the universities around the island taking part, commenced at the University of Peradeniya grounds on the 12th of August.
The women’s category was dominated and won by the Kelaniya hockey team; they beat the defending champions Peradeniya on their road to the finals. The men’s category however took a more interesting and exciting turn of events from the onset with the University of Colombo finally emerging victorious.
The tournament started with the respective universities being separated into 4 groups.
Colombo Crowned men’s champs
Kelaniya, Colombo, Rajarata, Moratuwa topped the men’s groups being undefeated in the group stage while Rajarata, Peradeniya, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna qualified through to the quarters with a win a piece. In the Quarters Ja-pura took on the Rajarata team, which was rather exciting to watch; Ja-pura won eventually on penalties (5-3).
The 1st semi-final between Colombo and Jaffna was won by the former 1-0. The Moratuwa team however went into finals through a goal gifted to them by the Japura team.
The final between Colombo and Moratuwa turned out to be a stunner where the only goal of the game came with the last move which gave Colombo the SLUG championship (1-0). Ja-pura took 3rd place defeating Jaffna 2-0.
Kelaniya, Colombo, Ja-pura, Mora topped the women’s groups winning all their games in the group while Rajarata, Peradeniya, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna scrapped through to the quarters with a win a piece.
The knockout stage saw Rajarata taking on the Ja-pura team in the first quarter final which they won 3 goals to 1, while in the second quarter final Colombo defeated Ruhuna (2-0) to set up a semi-final against Rajarata. The other two quarter finals were won by Peradeniya and Kelaniya defeating Moratuwa and Sabaragamuwa with score lines of 5-3 (penalties) and 2-1 respectively.
The semi-finals turned out to be rather interesting with arguably the best 4 teams competing. Colombo eased past Rajarata by 2 goals to 0. Peradeniya, the defending champs, lost to the dominant Kelaniya team by 1 goal.
The big final was set up between Kelaniya and Colombo; the Kelaniya team beat Colombo turning it into a one sided final, thrashing 4 past the hapless Colombo team; Pera defeated Rajarata to clinch 3rd place.