11:10am Friday 20th April 2012
Cricket and hockey squads from Watford Grammar School For Boys have returned from a successful tour to Sri Lanka.
A party of 31 students and staff travelled to the Indian Ocean island and performed well after a couple of days of acclimatisation and sightseeing, taking in the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the Temple of the Tooth and climbing Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
The cricketers took a while to adapt to the intense heat and humidity, losing their first two games to a talented Polonnaruwa district side and a similarly impressive Dharmarajah College, although the first fixture was played at the stunning international Dambulla Stadium, where the previous match hosted had been between Sri Lanka and India.
Watford were in a winning position in their contest against national champions Trinity College, Kandy, at the Asgiriya International Stadium, but the game was forced to be abandoned due to very heavy rain.
The boys did enjoy victory in their final match however, claiming the final wicket of St Thomas College, Colombo, just as the Sri Lankan government issued a tsunami warning.
The party took refuge on the seventh floor of their hotel until the alert had passed.
The hockey squad returned home boasting a 100 per cent success rate, winning all four of their matches.
The first three fixtures were played at the Nandimithra International artificial pitch in Matale, the centre of hockey in Sri Lanka.
Victories included a 4-3 success against the Hockey Academy, Matale who boasted two former Sri Lanka players in their line up, while the boys also enjoyed a 2-0 win over Wesley College, Colombo, on a difficult grass surface.
The team will now be full of confidence when they represent Hertfordshire and the East of England in the National Under-18 Schools Finals at Cannock between April 25 and 26.
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