The atmosphere was electric as Gateway College Colombo took on S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia at the 2nd annual Neville De Alwis-Ralph Alles football encounter at the Race course grounds last Saturday. Although relatively new to the football scene, the team from Gateway has proven their mettle over the years and were out to retain the trophy which they won quite convincingly at the inaugural encounter last year. Having had a series of wins each in the run up to this encounter, both teams were well matched to give spectators a treat.
The Thomians once again led by Shevan Ebenezer promised a more competitive match this time around and they certainly did not disappoint. The initial minutes of the game were full of free-kicks and long crosses from the Gateway side which caught the Thomian defence off guard and Gateway College was quick to score in the second minute of the game. However, the Thomian team soon settled into the game and kept a hold of the ball for longer periods thereby adding pressure on the team from Gateway and preventing any further goals.
As the game resumed after the break, the team from S. Thomas’ came with force to even the score, but the Gateway defence stood strong and succeeded in holding them off until the final whistle. Gateway College Colombo was successfully retained the trophy (1 – 0) for a second year running showing how far this young international school has come in the Sri Lankan footballing arena.
The team yielded by S. Thomas included Shevan Ebenezer (Captain), Malindu Rabel, Shayan Weerathunga, Shenal De Alwis, S.E Akaran, Kayan Shuayb, Niven Nanayakkara, Darmendran Shivadarshan (GK), Aadil James, Anuk Nilaweera and Adesh Fernando.Gateway College laid out Areeb Niyas (Captain), Rafaah Suhail (Vice Captain), Infas Iqbal (GK), Dwayne De Mel, Imad Imran, Alan Fernando, Lushane De Silva, Isa Fahim, Samunu Kaggodaarachchi, Nansika Kaggodaarachchi and Binitha Chandrasena.
Darmendran Shivadarshan of S. Thomas’ College was adjudged Best Goalkeeper, whilst Areeb Niyas of Gateway College was voted as the Player of the Match and Binitha Chandrasena of Gateway College won the Golden Boot for the only goal of the game.
Before the main event, a series of other matches between the two schools took place which highlighted the future talent in both schools. These matches began with the Gateway U12s who took on the S. Thomas’ U12s and defeated them in a penalty shoot-out. This game was then followed by the match between the U14 teams in which S. Thomas’ College emerged victorious with a score of 1-0. Next in line was the U16 match where S. Thomas’ College once again came out victorious with a score of 3-0 as they showed an impressive display of pace, shooting and intensity.
Before the main event of the day, a girl’s match between the Overseas School of Colombo and Gateway College Colombo showed spectators the heights that girl’s football has reached. Although a competitive game, victory went to the team from Overseas School on a penalty shootout.
This annual football encounter proved to be thrilling as spectators were entertained with much action and intensity, leaving considerable anticipation for next year’s encounter.