News from the QE Sports Tour in Sri Lanka…
July 29, 2014
July 29, 2014
The PE & Games department are on tour in Sri Lanka from 18th to 28th July 2014. Mr Morgan will be sending periodic updates for parents and friends which will be posted here.
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Mr Morgan’s final report from the Sri Lanka tour:
“A jam-packed final three days on tour saw all the boys visiting a children's orphanage, the rugby boys play their final match and the cricketers undertaking a spin net session and play two fixtures.
After a very valuable net session run by ex-Sri Lankan professionals, all the tourists travelled to an inner city children’s orphanage where the boys and girls, aged 4-12 years of age, welcomed us with traditional dancing, songs and speeches from the various age groups. All of the QE boys then met the children and handed out gifts that we had brought from the UK; these included stationary, bags, paper, books, ties and a cash donation for the Headteacher to put towards repairs to the school. They were all extremely thankful and it was a very humbling experience for every boy involved and one that the boys and staff will not forget.
The rugby boys then travelled to the Royal College rugby stadium – another unbelievable facility that the boys were extremely fortunate to experience. After a disappointing third fixture, the rugby boys were desperate to finish their tour with a win but this was going to be a difficult task as their opposition had the reputation of being one of the best school sides in the country. Both Mr Bird and I were not sure how the match would go as Royal College looked more organised and physical than any side we had faced thus far. The QE boys rose the occasion and played their hearts out going in at half time 12-12 with a try from Asvin Ponnampalam set up by a fantastic run by Luke Dee and another by tour Captain Callum Cuddeford.
The second half was extremely nerve racking with the boys defending heroically in the hard conditions and finally being rewarded with a penalty in front of Royal’s posts with 3 minutes to play. As Mr Bird and I were politely advising to take the 3 points from the side-line, captain Cuddeford took a quick tap where he was awarded another penalty closer to the posts for the opposition not being back 10 metres. The staff could then breathe easily as surely the team would decide to take the 3 points and defend out the final few minutes to secure a win. As Mr Bird was taking on the kicking cone to our horror Luke Dee tapped and went running towards the try line before being tackled short. They say big games require big players and up stepped skipper Cuddeford again with a short pick and go to get over the try line and be awarded the try! After the successful conversion by Callum Murphy, the team had to defend out the final few minutes which they did superbly through players such as Alex Canal and Dominic Carrabine. The final score being Royal College 12, Queen Elizabeth's 19. A truly fantastic performance, one of the best we had seen from a QE side with unbelievable effort and belief from all involved. Special mention must be given to “Man of the Match” Ozzy Vergara and Niruban Rajendram and there were exceptional performances from Rajul Bhikha, Michael Fan, Peter Heddle and Frederick Carruthers.
All the boys were in high spirits as we then travelled to the famous Cricket Club Café in Colombo for dinner before travelling back to the hotel to rest up ready for the final cricket fixtures.
On Saturday morning, the tour transferred to their final hotel, The Sands, and for the cricketers to take part in a Twenty20 match at the beautiful Surrey village cricket ground. The A team played first and got a win which was their first victory on tour and gave them confidence going into their final fixture the following day. Some excellent bowling again by Captain, Seb Fezczur-Hatchett, and Milan Pindoria kept the hosts to 74 off their 20 overs. This was easily notched off with Omar Mohamed continuing his good form hitting 46 and very confident batting from Rohan Radia.
The B team then followed but unfortunately, due to rain storms coming in, they had only time for a quick 9 over match. However, they also ]got their first win on tour to make it a clean sweep. The hosts batted first and confidently hitting 82 off their 9 overs which forced QE to bat a little more aggressively and positively. Again good form with the bat by Mathew 'Storming' Norman (34) and Harry 'Wizard' Webb (39) mean the total was reached with an over to spare.
On the final day of tour the whole party would travel and visit the 'Foundation of Goodness, a charity based in Seenigama village, which works relentlessly to improve the lives of many thousands of people. One of the founders gave the tour party a tour around the facility and also talked in detail about the effect the 2004 Tsunami had on the charity and the local area. This was another very humbling experience for the boys to encounter and appreciate the work so many do to better the lives of so many others.
A 2 minute drive down the road led the cricket teams to their final fixtures. Again, due to weather forecasts and time constraints these would take the 20 20 form. The B team could not continue their winning ways again coming up against some very serious cricketers. They were bowled all out for 64 which the opposition then knocked off comfortably.
The A team had a much more competitive match where QE batted first hitting 130 from 20 overs, a figure that was a little disappointing as quick wickets down the order caused an early collapse. A fantastic hat trick bowled by Niam Radia made the hosts really have to work to reach the total but they were just too strong hitting off the total with only 1 over to go and 7 wickets down. Although not a win, it was a positive way to finish the tour for all those involved in the cricket A team.
So finally the tour came to its last night in Sri Lanka and an awards evening finished off the tour in style. Awards were given to:
Special prizes were also awarded to our 'loveable rogues' on tour. These were two boys that bridged the gap between years, always showed a positive attitude and kept the tour in good spirits throughout (even though their singing sometimes got on our nerves!): Rajul Bhikha and Callum Murphy.
I would like to reiterate what was felt and said by all staff that evening and thank all the boys on tour who behaved impeccably and made the tour a very special and successful trip. Also thanks to all the staff who attended the tour, especially Mr Bird, and all at QE who supported, helped and allow it to run as smoothly as it did.
We are already looking forward to the next tour in two years’ time…”
Friday 25th July 2014
So the tour goes on… All teams have been extremely busy and have played two matches each since my last update.
The teams had their last matches in Kandy on Tuesday when both cricket teams played at the incredibly impressive Pallakelle International Cricket stadium.
The cricket B team started the day slightly overawed by the occasion and took a while to get into their stride and, although there was some impressive batting and bowling by Harry Webb, they were unable to contain the hosts, finally losing by 4 wickets.
The A team was met at the entrance to the stadium by traditional Sri Lankan music and dancers and were led to their changing area where they all lit candles in a traditional ceremony: both captains walked to the middle to a warm applause with the host winning the toss and electing to bat. Whilst the bowling was tight in the first few overs, some very impressive big hitting from the Sri Lankans took their total to 178 off just 20 overs. It was a daunting task to have to try and score at 9 runs an over, but the positive way the boys went about their task was admirable: a very quick 26 runs from Omar Mohammed was followed by a 50 run partnership between Nikhil Patel (32) and Rohan Radia (35). This gave the team a chance. Quick runs from Sebastian Feszczur-Hatchett and Chris Dean scoring 4, 4, 6 followed and it looked like we might do it. Sadly an inopportune run out as we tried to chase the runs down caused a halt and the team fell agonisingly short of the total. As a spectacle, and with 350 runs being scored in just 40 overs, it was a great advert for fantastic competitive cricket.
Both teams were congratulated with Omar Mohammed being presented with a batsman award.
The Rugby team had a difficult afternoon playing the top-ranked side in Sri Lanka, Trinity College, at their home ground: the impressive Pallakelle Rugby Stadium. The boys battled extremely hard in very hot and humid conditions but found that their opposition were very fit and powerful. We ended up losing 50-17 but battled all the way to the end with particular thanks to the try scorers, Dominic Carrabine, Thomas Archbold and Brathe Sathiyaseelan, and “Man of the Match”, Luke Dee, who was fantastic.
The following day it was time to leave Kandy and the tour transferred to Colombo visiting an Elephant Orphanage en-route. The was an experience that the boys will not forget for a long time seeing the elephants bathed and fed; some brave boys took the opportunity to see the elephants close up. We then checked in to the famous Mount Lavinia Hotel where the boys could have some time to enjoy the pool and private beach facilities the Hotel had to offer.
Yesterday all teams played their third fixtures of the tour and, to be honest, they struggled in the even hotter climate of Colombo.
The cricket B team were taught a lesson by some excellent Sri Lankan batting where the opposition posted a score of 274 off 35 overs. The boys tried their hardest and there was some good batting by Harry Webb (46) and Mathew Norman, but in the end the total was too much and they ended up losing by 110 runs.
The cricket A team again struggled in the 30+ degrees heat; they batted first and posted a score of 124 all out from 34 overs. Some good early wickets were taken by Seb Feszczur-Hatchett, Milan Pindoria and a great catch by Rohan Radia. Unfortunately they could not keep the opposition from reaching the target with their opening batsmen hitting 51 not out and in the end losing by seven wickets.
It was up to the rugby team to try and bring back a win from the day but this was not to be losing to an academy side 6-0. As always, the boys battled very well but again struggled in the heat and on the hard ground and although had opportunities to score could not get over the try line. There were some excellent performances by Daniel Pugh, Ozzy Vergara, Luke Dee with “Man of the Match” this time going to Niruban Rajendram.
Today the cricketers are attending a special training session run by two ex-Sri Lankan Internationals before joining the rest of the tour where all the boys will be visiting a local orphanage. There will be an opportunity to meet the children and donate some vital school supplies brought from the UK.
This afternoon is the rugby boys’ last match against a tough school side, Royal. The non-Rugby players will be in the stadium supporting and hoping they finish on a high!
Monday 21st July 2014
Mr Morgan reports: "The QE Sports Tour to Sri Lanka got off to a smooth start and the entire squad looked extremely smart in their tour shirts and ties on arrival at Heathrow Terminal 3.
In no time at all we had landed in Colombo, Sri Lanka where we were greeted by our representative from out tour company with a traditional welcome of fresh flower garlands and transferred to Kandy where we would spend the next four nights.
The boys did not have long to get acclimatised as the next day all three teams had their first sporting fixtures. Unfortunately, both cricket teams came second in very close matches but the rugby team were successful playing in the afternoon, winning their opening match.
The Cricket B team captained very well by Harshil Sumaria narrowly lost, not being able to get the final 4 wickets before the opposition reached their target of 152 off 35 overs. Highlights were Mathew Norman, our “Man of the Match”, opening the bat and scoring 31, Harshil leading the team very well and Sen Thavanayagam being very aggressive between the wickets.
The Cricket A team captained by one of our senior players, Seb Fesczcur-Hatchett, again were in a very competitive match losing in the end by 30 runs. At one point it looked like they would have enough to win but we struggled down the batting order losing 4 wickets in quick succession. Seb was the “Man of the Match” bowling and batting well securing 31 runs and taking 4 wickets. Another highlight was Omar Mohamed, one of the youngest on tour batting very confidently scoring 32.
The rugby team could have been easily overwhelmed as they kicked off in the evening at the very impressive Kandy Rugby Stadium. However, captained by Callum Cuddeford, they rose to the challenge and performed extremely well winning the game fairly comfortably in the end: 19-5. Highlights included Asvin Ponnampalam having a great game scoring two tries and Luke Dee scoring a brilliant solo try. Overall it was a great team performance in difficult conditions.
The boys have since had a well needed rest day in which they made good use of the Hotel facilities and ventured into Kandy in the morning to see the various sights such as the food market and silk and gem factories. This evening the boys will continue to enjoy more of the cultural sights of Kandy by visiting a traditional dancing and fire walking show and going to the stunning Temple of the Sacred Tooth.
Tomorrow, all three teams play their second fixture of the tour with both cricket teams playing at the Pallakele International Cricket ground and the rugby team playing one of the strongest school teams in Sri Lanka: Trinity College."