Royal College will be hoping for a repeat of 2022 heroics when they host traditional rivals S. Thomas’ College in the annual Royal-Thomain Tennis Encounter played for E.F.C. Pereira Challenge Trophy. The matches, which will be played at Royal’s newly constructed P. Nagendran Tennis Complex, are scheduled for Saturday at 8.00 a.m.
The Trophy, donated by D.L. Seneviratne (Old Royalist and former President of SLTA), is in memory of E.F.C. Pereira who was a teacher at Royal for 20 years, and thereafter, a teacher at S. Thomas’ for a further 18 years. He was also the Teacher-in-Charge of tennis at both schools.
Led by Nethwin Dharmaratne the Royalists have had a stellar season thus far. Their Under 15 team emerged as Runners-Up in the Public Schools event and the Under 13 Team were the joint Third Place winners at this year’s public school event.
The Royalists are coached by Renouk Wijemanne, former Royalist, former Davis Cup player and the current Davis Cup coach for Sri Lanka.
S.Thomas’ on the other hand are led by Wenuka Kithnula. The team coached by Anjuna Anthony have some leading players in the local arena in the junior category including Zaid Zihar.
This is the 18th encounter in the series, being inaugurated in 2003. The encounter will consist of three singles matches and two doubles matches in the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-19 categories. The winner of the Under-19 tie will be awarded the Trophy. As the teams are evenly matched the matches are expected to be highly competitive and exciting.
Royal are the present custodians of the Trophy having won last year’s encounter. At present Royal dominate with a win record of 13 versus S. Thomas’ four wins.
Royal College: Nethwin Dharmaratne, Thilina Dissanayake, Methvan Wijemanne, Himath Hettihewa, Thevjan Weerasekara, Chenul Wickramasinghe, Jamal Sabry, Ryan Sugathadasa, Ranida Ranaweera, Kavish Maddumage.
S.Thomas’ College: Wenuka Kithnula, Rishene Dwight, Zaid Zihar, Meneshka Ratnasingham, Chanakya Perera, Aahil Kaleel, Navindu Herath, Sethika Atalugama, Shaveen Samarawickrama, Shaveen Nanayakkara.