Matale Legends led by former national player Palitha Weerasinghe beat Colombo Hockey and Football Club (CH & FC) to win the Cup final 2-1 at the well-organized second Masters Hockey League tournament held at the Astro Turf on Sunday.
The tournament was organised by the Sri Lanka Masters National Hockey Association (SLMNHA) after a lapse of five years.
In group ‘A’ round robin matches, Matale Legends beat Sri Lanka Masters Gold (2-1), Old Ben’s (3-0), Badulla Masters (1-0) and BRC (1-0), while in group ‘B’ CH&FC beat Sri Lanka Masters Maroons (1-0), CR&FC (1-0), Old DS SC (3-0) and Malays (2-0).
In the final, played partially under flood lights, Matale Legends were unable to breach the CH&FC defence and the game ended in a scoreless draw. The winner was chosen with a single series penalty shoot-out and Matale Legends triumphed 2-1.
Premesh Cramer, former Sri Lankan national and Army sticker, scored the winning goal for Matale Legends.
International hockey umpire Mahesh Abeywickrama and Damith Jayasena controlled the Cup final.
CH&FC centre half Thilina Perera was awarded the Lloyd Frederick Memorial Trophy as Player of the tournament. The trophy was donated in memory of Lloyd Fredrick Colin Mariyanayagam, one of the founder members of SLMNHA and a member of Sri Lanka Masters National Hockey team which participated at the Masters World Cup in Spain in 2018. The award was presented by his wife Achala Frederick.
In the Plate final, Sri Lanka Masters Gold won by a solitary goal against CR&FC with Yohan Lewke scoring the winning goal from a penalty corner in the final seconds of the game.
In the Bowl final, Badulla Masters beat Old DS SC 1-0.
The 23-game tournament saw some of the most talented national players in action, who had rendered yeoman service for the country in their youth.
Nippon Paint Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. was the Platinum Sponsor, while Alpha Global Ship Services (Pvt) Ltd. and A & A Consultants Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. were the co-sponsors.
Nemantha Abeysinghe, Group General Manager of Nippon Paint Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. was the chief guest and Achala Frederick was the guest of honor.
SLMNHA President Fowzul Hameed along with the chief guest gave away the awards.
By M.H. Yakeem