By Amindha de Alwis
Gateway College, Rajagiriya retained the Neville de Alwis – Ralph Alles Challenge Trophy when they beat S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia 1-0 in their second annual football encounter worked off at the Racecourse Grounds on Saturday (25).
Gateway got off to a flying start in just the third minute of the game when Binitha Chandrasena headed one into the net to score what ended up being the sole goal of the game.
Gateway were presented with a further couple of goal-scoring opportunities in the first half but failed to extend their lead as their shots went astray.
The Thomians, who had limited possession in the opening half, produced a more coordinated effort after the break, threating to equalize on several occasions, only to be repeatedly denied by the Gateway defense which was excellent right throughout the match.
Gateway College captain Areeb Niyaz was named the Most Valuable Player of the game, while his teammate Binitha Chandrasena won the Golden Boot award. Dharmendran Shivadarshan of S. Thomas’ took home the award for Best Goalkeeper.
In the games which preceded the main encounter, Gateway College beat S. Thomas’ College 1-0 in the Under-12 match, followed by 1-0 wins to the Thomians in both the Under-14 and Under-16 games. The Under-20 encounter between the Gateway college girls’ team and the Overseas School of Colombo was a high scoring one and saw the Overseas School of Colombo winning by five goals to four.