Bishop’s College fought back from being a goal down, to overcome their opponents from Visakha Vidyalaya by three goals to two, and swim home with the under 15 title at the 20th Sri Lanka Schools Water Polo Championships, held at the Police Pool yesterday.
The match was a tightly contested affair with neither team willing to cave in either on offense or defense. However Visakha looked the stronger team during the opening exchanges and were gradually earning better chances, especially when playing on the break.
A Bishopian (blue) attempts a shot while being defended. Pic by Sanka Vidanagama
Finally with the game still relatively young, the Visakhians got their decisive breakthrough, through a series of seemingly innocuous passes. After the ball was tossed from player to player it eventually landed in front of Sachindri Wickremasinghe. She in turn expertly gathered herself, while at the same time struggling to stave off her defender, and gingerly lobbed the ball towards the goal. The Bishopian goalie, who was ill positioned to deal with the looping ball, could only flail helplessly at it as it lodged into the top corner of her net.
With the game once again in the balance both teams resumed their relentless assaults at each other’s defense. Once again the Visakhians were the ones to take the game by the scruff of the neck when they seized an easy close range opportunity. The goal scorer on this occasion was Sachini Seneviratne, who manufactured a composed finish to send her team ahead once again.
However this was to be an exhibition of the Bishop’s College’s resilience and yet again they dug deep to level things through Soraya Wickremasekera. After drawing her team level, Soraya persisted with her probing swims into the Visakhian half. This paid great dividends deep into the second half when she rocketed her shot into the goal and gave her side a hard fought victory.
In the boys’ under 15 game Royal College romped home to a resounding 15-0 victory over Nalanda College, a display almost replicated by their under 19 team who buried Ananda College by 9 goals to one. In the under 19 girl’s final, Ladies College received a walk over as there were no other opposing teams, and took home the championship.