Royal goes under in spirited fight but retains Bradby Shield | Daily News

Royal goes under in spirited fight but retains Bradby Shield

Action from the match between St. Joseph’s and Wesley.  (Pic by Wasitha Patabendige)
Action from the match between St. Joseph’s and Wesley. (Pic by Wasitha Patabendige)

Royal College have done it again. This time in a more spectacular manner. They have retained the Bradby Shield for another year while overcoming their traditional rivals Trinity College 50-26 on aggregate in the 76th annual encounter.

Last week, at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy, they narrowly lost the second leg encounter 21-26 against a rejuvenated Trinity outfit but their first leg performance in Colombo, two weeks ago, was good enough to retain the coveted Shield for the fourth successive year.

In fact, this was for the second time in-a-row that Trinity had suffered this same fate of having won the second leg but conceded the game to Royal by an overall aggregate.

The Royal Rugby Team celebrate with the Bradby Shield.
 (Pic courtesy 

In 2019 as well, Royal won the first leg by a convincing margin of 34-17 at the Pallekele Stadium and lost the second leg 13-24 in Colombo to win the Bradby Shield with an overall aggregate of 47-41.

This time the Trinitians exploited the home advantage to good effect as they put aside their pathetic first leg performance to score four splendid tries, which was probably the only consolation for the home side. Trinity’s superb turnaround of performance in this game was largely due to the outstanding contribution of their scrum half Shaveen Premaratne, who

scored twice in addition to laying the platform for their good work from the base.

But once again, Trinity had their own worries with their kicking as all four tries went unconverted, although it would have not made any impact on the outcome of this year’s Bradby Shield.

Royal of course, knew that their opponents would come hard on them after having won the first leg convincingly 29-0 and they performed well to weather the Trinity storm to a certain extent with tries from Dhanuja Samararatne (2) and Pasindu Heshan.

St. Joseph’s vs Wesley

St. Joseph’s College edged out Wesley College 16-13 at Havelock Park to secure their place in the final of the President’s Trophy Inter-Schools Knock-Out Rugby Tournament.

In fact, this second semi-final encounter turned out to be a real cliff-hanger and eventually, it was a penalty from Ruchitha Rodrigo in the last minute of extra-time that sealed the contest in favour of the Josephians.

Until then, the match was in the balance and the Wesleyites would no doubt, rue their chances of not being able to convert both their tries. They had the game very much under control in the first half and looked set to make it to the final once again having emerged runners-up to St. Peter’s College in the 2019 final.

But St. St. Joseph’s, with a little bit of luck as well, were able to turn things around in their favour during a dramatic second half performance with the place kicking of Dilhara Subash bringing them back into the game before Jehan Athukorala went over for their only try.

Isipathana vs S. Thomas’

Isipathana College proved to be too strong once again as they hammered S. Thomas’ College 29-13 in the President’s Trophy Knock-Out Tournament first semi-final fixture played at Havelock Park.

The newly crowned Inter-Schools ‘A’ Division League winners did not put a foot wrong as they produced another champion performance with four tries simply summarising their complete dominance. The Thomians, of course, came in with full of confidence and showed some early promise but they simply cracked when playing under pressure and failed to sustain the momentum until the end.

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