|It’s Royal by
What a match it was! In one of the most thrilling
encounters of the Bradby Shield history Royal pipped
traditional rivals Trinity to win by a whisker 38
points to 37 in the first leg of the 66th Bradby
Shield encounter worked off at the Royal Sports
This first leg of the Bradby Shield is also a
Schools ‘A’ division encounter. The winners
collected their points from three goals one try,
three penalties and a drop goal to the Lions’ three
goals, two tries and two penalties. The game’s
fortunes fluctuated from one end to the other as
Royal and Trinity checked each others defences from
the first whistle itself.
Royal’s strategy was to keep the play with their
heavy set of forwards and they did an excellent job
by revelling in rucks and mauls. Their backline too
made some penetrative runs which caught Trinity
napping. The man who made the difference was Royal’s
nippy half back Deen Cassim who made some decisive
up and under kicks which tested the Trinity defence
frequently for his third row to attack.
On the other hand the Lions have to blame themselves
for their downfall. They started the game in
brilliant fashion but lost the grip of the game
midway as they committed unnecessary mistakes and
their defence never looked solid right throughout
and was always in disarray.
It was Trinity who scored first in the second minute
when winger Akhila Dissanayake crossed over to touch
down. Outisde center Kanchana Ramanayake converted.
But Royal immediately leveled the scores when winger
Tharaka Wijesuriya sliced through to score.
Full back Mushin Faleel converted to make it
7-all. Then Ramanayake who had a brilliant game
kicked a 45 meter penalty correctly to give Trinity
the lead. Ramanayake again kicked a 35 meter penalty
on target to increase the lead to 13-7 in favour of
Trinity. But Royal took the lead immediately when
outside half Arshad Jamaldeen kicked two penalties
correctly and put over a peach of a drop goal and
the home team led 16-13. Ramanayake again off a fine
back line move brushed several Royal defenders to
touch down under the post and converted the try
himself to give Trinity a 20-16 lead. But the joy
was short-lived as Royal penetrated their defence
and of a back line move winger Dilshan Palihakkara
touched down. Faleel converted and Royal led 23-20
at the breather.
In the turnaround Royal increased the lead with a
25 meter penalty from Jamaldeen. Then Royal flanker
Chilanka Samaraweera touched down from a maul which
went unconverted but Royal took a commanding lead of
31-20. At this stage due to a heavy downpour
conditions became soggy underfoot and both teams
could not handle the wet ball well. Trinity struck
twice with tries from winger Mohammed Shesan and
inside center Nimesh Yatawara. Ramanayake made one
brilliant conversion and missed the other but
Trinity took the lead back 32-31.Again the joy was
shortlived when Royal hooker Aadil Jabbar crashed
through to score. This time Jamaldeen made the
conversion and Royal led 38-32. Trinity then clawed
back with a fine try by Dissanayake but Ramanayake’s
conversion just lacked the distance for Trinity to
register a sensational win.
Prior to the commencement of game both teams were
introduced to Haren Malwatte, the chief guest for
the first leg who captained the Royal XV in 1969.
The game was controlled by Irshad Cader.
Royal u18 won the first leg of the Simithriarachchi
trophy by 28-15.