The 26th edition of the most prestigious Water Polo event in the island, Dr. R.L Hayman Trophy between Royal and S. Thomas’ College will kick off on Saturday, 30th September 2017 in grand style.

Last year, the encounter resulted in a slim 9-8 victory for S. Thomas’ in the first leg, and they went on to seal the second leg 9-5. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Thomians. While the teams prepare for the ultimate showdown, let’s take a closer look at the numbers and statistics from the past 25 years.waterpolo 2The Dr. R.L. Hayman Trophy, commonly known as The Hayman, is awarded to the team with the highest aggregate of goals at the conclusion of both legs. In the earlier days, both schools hosted a leg each but later on due to the growing popularity and crowd control, the game was shifted to the Sugathadasa Stadium which has since been hosting both legs as a neutral venue.    

The prize is named after William Rollo Lenden Hayman. He was the longest serving Sub Warden of S. Thomas’ (1935-1957) Mount Lavinia and the Head Master of Guruthalawa. Dr. R.L. Hayman introduced the sport to the institution. Water Polo was introduced to Royal College in 1958.

The first ever Hayman Trophy encounter was played in 1992. Nethru Nanayakkara and Jeewaka Perera captained Royal and S. Thomas’ respectively. The Thomians won the inaugural Hayman 6-1, 6-2.waterpolo 3

Royal College had to wait for 13 long years to claim the trophy and in 2005 they shattered the hoodoo under the captaincy of Sachithra Thilakaratne. The only draws were recorded in 1999 (2-2, 1-1) and 2001 (2-2, 3-3).

The Hayman Tally

  • Played – 25
  • Royal – 7
  • S. Thomas’ – 16
  • Drawn – 2  
“It all goes down to Hayman”
“It all goes down to Hayman”

Streaks and Victories

Thomas’ holds the longest winning streak at 7 years (1992-1998). The longest winning streak by Royal stands at 5 years (2005-2009). The Thomians also claim a staggering 13 -year unbeaten streak (1992-2004), the longest of its sort.

The highest margin of victory in one leg (6 goals) is jointly held by both S. Thomas’ (9-3, second leg 2002) and Royal (10-4 in first leg 2008). The Royalists hold the record for the highest margin at the end of both legs (9 goals, 21-12 in 2008). The corresponding record for S. Thomas’ is 8 goals, set in 2002 (14-6).

It lives up to the expectation: “Water Polo is one of the toughest sports in the world”
It lives up to the expectation: “Water Polo is one of the toughest sports in the world”

The narrowest winning margin stands at a solitary goal. S. Thomas’, on 2 occasions have won the Hayman by the margin of 1 goal (1993 & 2010).

There has been only one instance of a team riveting a first leg deficit to claim the Hayman. The 2012 Royal College team, led by Shan Lakshitha, despite losing the first leg 4-6, made a dramatic comeback in the return leg winning 5-1 to retain the Hayman 9-7.

(The 2012 Royal outfit – The only team to make a comeback from a first leg deficit)
(The 2012 Royal outfit – The only team to make a comeback from a first leg deficit)


A total of 459 goals (Avg. 9.18 per game) have been scored by both sides in the last 25 years. S. Thomas’ have scored 250 goals, at an average of 5.00 per game. Royal College have scored 209 goals (Avg. 4.18 per game).

From 1992 to 2000, S. Thomas’ have amassed 71 goals (Avg. 3.94 per game) against Royal’s 30 (Avg. 1.66 per game). In the next decade, Royal have led the goal tally with 106 (Avg. 5.3 per game) to 100 by S. Thomas’ (5.00 per game). From 2011 to 2016, S. Thomas’ have secured 79 goals (Avg. 6.58 per game) to Royal who have scored 73 (Avg. 6.08 per game).

With the game too transforming and a permanent change of venue to Sugathadasa Stadium, the past 10 years have seen a high number of goals scored in each leg by both teams. A massive 253 goals out of the 459 total goals (55%) were scored merely in the last 10 years (2007-2016). That’s an average of 12.65 goals witnessed per game, almost double to the average of goals scored in the first 15 years (1992-2006) of the encounter (6.86 per game). There had been only one encounter in the last decade, where less than 6 goals from either side was witnessed (1-1 in second leg 2010).

In the past decade, interestingly, both sides have won 5 Hayman encounters each (RC – 2007, 08, 09, 11, 12 & STC- 2010, 13, 14, 15, 16). Royal have scored 132 goals in the last 10 years (Avg. 6.6 per game), 11 more than S. Thomas’ (121 – Avg. 6.05 per game).

The record for most goals in a single leg is jointly shared by the two sides. It stands at 11 (Royal in second leg 2008, S. Thomas’ first leg 2015). In 2008, Royal also recorded the highest number of goals in a Hayman where 21 were stockpiled at the end of both legs.

The highest aggregate of goals in one leg stands at 19, which was recorded during the 2008 second leg (Royal won 11-8). It was also the first time 10 or more goals were scored by a team in one leg and the only time 10 or more were scored in both legs by a team (Royal won 10-4, 11-8). Indeed, the 2008 Hayman was a goal fest, featuring an astounding 33 goals in both legs, the highest aggregate by both teams over two legs.

“For them, Hayman is the ultimate dream”
“For them, Hayman is the ultimate dream”

The second leg of the 2007 saw a stirring 8-8 stalemate, the highest scoring draw in Hayman history. The lowest scoring draw was the 1993 second leg. It ended goalless and stands as the only Hayman where both teams failed to score a goal. S. Thomas’ won the 1993 Hayman by the first leg result of 1-0.

Family records

Among many proud families who have been a part of the Hayman Trophy, there are 3 pairs of Royalist brothers who have captained their sides. The first captain Nethru Nanayakkara’s brother Kavinda captained in 1996. Charitha de Chickera led the team in 1994 while his brother Rajive captained in the following year. Maduranga Kulathilake’s (2002) brother Supun Kulathilake led the side in 2006.

For S. Thomas’ Samantha and Nishantha Wickramasinghe both led the Thomian outfits (1994, 1996) and Nawaff and Nabil Mubarak captained in 1998 and 2000 respectively.

Thomas’ was represented by three brothers in the same family on two occasions. Dinesh de Silva (2000), Dilhan de Silva (1998-2002) and Darith de Silva (2006-2009) alongside the Thamanegama brothers, Dakshitha (2002-2005), Manjith (2005, 2007) and Thisura (2009-2011) have played for the Thomian outfit.

Victorious Thomian team in 2016
Victorious Thomian team in 2016

The instance of four brothers at a Royal-Thomian is extremely rare, let alone at a Hayman. The Warnapura family of S. Thomas’ fielded Rajitha (1996-2002), Ranga (1997-2001), Shakthi (2005-2006) and Savith (2007-2009). For Royal, the Uwais brothers, Ulfath (2004), Mushuraff (2009-2012), Waleed (2011-2013) and Rifat (2012-2013) all played their roles at the big event.

The Dr. R.L Hayman Trophy is at its historic 26th year waiting to unravel itself for a final tussle and is no doubt, the grandest stage of school Water Polo will continue its legacy for many more years, creating perennial memories among ardent Royalists and Thomians, both young and old.

  • Author disclaimer –

The article was compiled with highest difficulty due to the disparities between different Hayman souvenirs containing facts and figures. Honest efforts have been made to provide comprehensive information for the reader and the author apologize for any inconvenience caused by the accuracy of information.