Youth cap Shevon Daniel, a 4th year coloursman, leads St. Joseph’s, while youth cap Wanuja Sahan Kumara, a 3rd year coloursman, leads St. Peter’s, at the 88th ‘Battle of the Saints’ encounter on 14 and 15 July at P. Sara Oval Stadium.
Both sides possess three players each who represented the National Team at the Under-19 World Cup. From St. Joseph’s former skipper Dunith Wellalage, Shevon Daniel and Sadeesh Jayawardena, and from St. Peter’s skipper Wanuja Sahan, Lahiru Dawatage and Danal Hemananda.
St. Joseph’s are the Sri Lanka Schools Under-19 Division One tier ‘A’ Champions for the last two years, while St. Peter’s clinched the Division One tier ‘B’ Championship last season.
The ‘Battle of the Saints’ commenced in 1933, and the first match was played at St. Peter’s Grounds in Bambalapitiya. The Josephians, who won the inaugural game, were led by Robert Fernando and the Peterites by George Jayaweera. Matches were not played in 1942 and 1943 due to the World War. The two school grounds were the venue from 1933 to 1941, and subsequently other venues like Varsity Grounds, SSC, NCC, R. Premadasa Stadium and P. Sara Stadium were utilised.
Of the 87 encounters fought for the Fr. Maurice Le Goc Memorial Trophy, the Josephians are in the lead with 12 wins, having recorded their last win in 2008 under the leadership of Ruwantha Fernandopulle, while the Peterites have 10 wins, with the last one coming in 2016 under Vinu Mohotti.
St. Joseph’s squad: Shevon Daniel (Captain), Sadeesh Jayawardene, Dunith Wellalage, Hirun Matheesha, Mithira Thenura, Hiran Jayasundara, L. Dissanayake, R.H. Amarasinghe, Deshan Senevirathne, Lahiru Amarasekara, Abhishek Jayaweera, Kenath Sasmina, Shenuk Serasinghe, Senodh Dulvin Soysa, Dineth Jayakody, Asiri Caldera (Master-in-Charge), Dilan Ramanayake (Head Coach), Kavindu Perera (Asst. Coach), Lahiru Wickramasinghe (Asst. Coach)
St. Peter’s squad: Wanuja Sahan (Captain), Lahiru Dawatage (Vice Captain), Danal Hemananda, Shenal Boteju, Vishen Halambage, Rusanda Gamage, Nimuthu Gunawardana, Sanshay Gunatilake, Niman Umesh, Shennon Rodrigo, Abhilash Wellalage, Lakindu Sachin, Lashmika Perera, Ishira Ayupala, Salith Gallage, Dilana Damsara, Oween Salgado, Kavika Jayasundara, Sunanda Fernando (Master-in-charge), Janudika Sriyapala (Coach), Manjuka Perera (Asst. Coach), Manuka Gunarathne (Trainer) (IR)