Another three action-packed days have passed on slug battleground, turning Pera & Sabra into the new Hockey champions in men’s & women’s category respectively.
SLUG 2019 Hockey championships were one of the most anticipated events of university sports fans since the very beginning of the SLUG season. Men’s and women’s teams from 12 universities participated and competed against each other in the event to be the last standing team of their respective divisions and glorify their alma mater with the championship. Matches were held at Uyanwaththa Football House, Matara from 2nd of August to 4th of August. The battle was very competitive and magical from the beginning so that even the most promising and talented teams had to leave the field even without qualifying for the semi-finals.
Preliminary matches were conducted on the 2nd of August and in the morning of the 3rd of August. Eight teams were qualified for the quarter-finals from each division and those matches were played in the evening of the same day.
Rajarata, Ruhuna, Colombo and Peradeniya teams got selected for the men’s semi-finals while Japura, Sabra, Jaffna and Colombo teams were lucky enough to get selected for the semi-finals in women’s division.
Former women’s champions University of Moratuwa had bad luck throughout the tournament and had to leave the battle early after losing to Sabra at the preliminary stage. This itself was a turning point since most people predicted that, Mora girls would make a huge impact in upcoming rounds
A debating situation rose during the match between Mora and Pera in the men’s division due to an umpire’s decision on a stroke which was played by University of Moratuwa without wearing shin guards.
Day 3 was allocated for the semi-finals, consolation finals, and the finals. After 4 eye-catching matches, Colombo & Pera got selected for the finals in men’s category while Sabra & Japura got selected for the finals in women’s category.
Former men’s hockey champions University of Rajarata had to leave the tournament without being selected for the finals and played the consolation finals against University of Ruhuna. They managed to end up as 2nd Runners up by defeating University of Ruhuna hockey team.
Women’s consolation final match was held between University of Jaffna and University of Colombo. This time, UOC showed their true talent and ended the match with a score of 4-0, becoming the 2nd Runners up.
In the final matches, Japura and Colombo seemed to have huge support from the crowd. Both matches were eye-catching and contained a lot of breath-taking moments. In the women’s final, though Japura showed a very aggressive playing style against Sabra and scored a goal in the first half, Sabra got the match into their hands by scoring 2 goals just before the end.
The other final match also was very competitive and both teams showed up outstanding performance throughout the game. However, Pera was lucky enough to grab the crown by finishing the game with a score of 1-0 at the end.
We were able to have few words with winning captains after the final match and they expressed their ideas with us about their win and the tournament.
Lahiru Dassanayaka, hockey team captain of Pera expressed views about the victory after 2008 and said that Colombo gave a great challenge to them in the final match and he was grateful to the coaches, team members and all other supporters of the team.
Sakunthala Ileperuma, captain of Sabra women’s hockey team, was very excited about their huge victory against Japura and expressed her ideas with us after the match. She said that her team has given great support to end up as champions. She said that from the very beginning, the whole team showed a great commitment and practiced with their maximum effort and that certainly became one of the main factors for their great victory. She was thankful to the coaches, lecturers and all others who have given support for the victory and further she said that they wish to come back stronger in the following sports season.
The captain of Sri Lankan National Hockey Team, Mr. Nalantha de Silva was the chief guest for the final match and the award ceremony. Sabra and Pera were crowned as champions in a very colorful awards ceremony which was held in the evening.
If we take a moment to look back at the tournament and the results, we can say that if a team has unity, determination, commitment and a little bit of luck, then they can face any challenge and achieve victory no matter how great the odds are. No one can be the champion forever. Sometimes Champions will be newly crowned and sometimes champions will remain unchanged. It all depends on the level of passion and commitment that a certain team pays toward the next sports season after the end of a tournament.
Hockey events were certainly able to heat up slug sports arena for 3 days and have now come to an end. We, MoraSpirit, would like to thank all the people who sacrificed their time and energy for this hockey tournament and hope to see more exciting game seasons in the future.