The 58th Men’s Senior Nationals Hockey tournament started off Wednesday at the Colombo Astro Turf with the arrival of the Honourable Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. In this year’s competition, there are more than 10 teams competing for the championship from different districts. The tournament is conducted by the Ministry of Sports and it will conclude on 21st of January.
The teams competing for this tournament are Defence Service, Colombo HA, Kandy HA, Matale HA, Mercantile HA, Sri Lanka Schools, Wennappuwa HA, Rathnapura HA, Matara HA, Gampaha HA, State Service, National Service, Kalutara HA, Galle HA, University, Kegalle HA, Uva HA and Jaffna HA.
Here’s a look at what happened.
With a very early start time, the first match to be played for the day was played between State Service and Jaffna HA. As the game began, State Service managed to get onto the score board within the first 5 minutes of the game. This start enabled them to score 13 goals against Jaffna, while the latter were struggling to score at least one goal. It was a slam down by State Service.
In the next match, Defence Service took down Rathnapura strikers by recording the highest and most remarkable victory for the day with a score of 20-0. Defence Service is a balanced and strong team which comprises of players from Army, Navy and Air Force. Their tactics and high level of skills helped them to reach an excellent score in the first round.
Colombo HA in the following match obtained an easy win against Combined University team by recording a score of 7-0 on the score board. The game between Wennapuwa HA and Matale HA ended as 8-1. Matale HA faced a great difficulty in the match due to official matters and most of the talented players not able to represent their team for the match.
In the following match, Mercantile players took down Matara HA easily with a score of 7-1. The high level of experience and the team coordination of Mercantile helped them to attack the opponents with a high amount of offensive strategies. Unfortunately, Matara players lacked skills and strategies to overcome the pressure from Mercantile players. The final match of the day took place between Kandy and Gampaha hockey clubs. From the start of the match both teams showed a very aggressive game and they implemented a high amount of offensive strategies by maintaining the defensive aspect well. However, both teams were unable to score and the match ended as a draw.