Trinity prevail in Pallekelle but Royal retain Bradby Shield

76th Bradby Shield

Pumuditha De Silva

Trinity College put up a gallant performance in the 2nd Leg of the 76th Bradby Shield to beat Royal College 26 (4T, 2P) points to 21 (3T, 2P), in Pallekelle on Saturday. However, Royal College retained the Bradby Shield with an aggregate of 50 points to 26, following a convincing 29-00 win in the 1st Leg held a fortnight ago in Colombo.

With an uphill task of catching up to Royal’s first leg lead, Trinity needed somewhat of a miracle to regain the shield.

Trinity made an unforced error from the kick-off, which resulted in an easy penalty kick for the Royal fullback Nabeel Yahiya, as the visitors took the early lead. (TCK 00 – RC 03)

Trinity scrum half Shaveen Premaratne’s box kick from the base of a ruck went into open space, and the home team’s Captain Lithmal Moragoda collected the loose ball to score the opening try of the match, within just four minutes of kick-off. Kovida Wickramasinghe failed to add the extras. (TCK 05 – RC 03)

An unforced handling error by Royal center Thevinu Saparamadu gave an opportunity for Trinity to make a brilliant eight-nine move from a scrum in the Royal 22’, as Premaratne touched down in the far corner in the 9th minute of the match. Wickramasinghe missed the conversion again. (TCK 10 – RC 03)

Yahiya too missed a conventional penalty kick in the 13th minute as Royal failed to capitalize on the pressure inserted by their forwards. Wickramasinghe’s poor form with kicks off the tee continued as he missed an easy penalty kick in the 25th minute.

Through a brilliant backline move, second center Philio Calyanaratne managed to put winger Pasindu Heshan into open space, and as good wingers always do, Heshan went over to score the first try for Royal in the 28th minute. Yahiya failed to convert. (TCK 10 – RC 08)

The scores remained the same until the half-time whistle, as both teams failed to seize more point-scoring opportunities.

Half-time: Trinity 10 – Royal 08

After lemons, Royal took back the lead with a rolling maul try courtesy their hooker Dhanuja Samararatne. Yahiya missed the conversion. (TCK 10 – RC 13)

Straight after Royal’s second try, Trinity levelled the scores after fly-half Kovida Wickramasinghe finally managed to bisect the posts through a penalty kick. (TCK 13 – RC 13)

Trinity forwards were up to the task against their counterparts in gaining territory and holding on to possession. Trinity hooker Kaveesha Edama barged over for their third try as the hosts took back the lead after 10 minutes of action in the 2nd half. (TCK 18 – RC 13)

In the 48th minute, Trinity extended their lead as their second-choice place kicker Anuhas Kodituwakku booted over a penalty. (TCK 21 – RC 13)

Trinity College gave away a penalty after being penalized for holding on in the 50-minute mark of the match. Yahiya scored his second penalty kick to reduce the deficit with 20 minutes left in the game. (TCK 21 – RC 16)

Trinity’s improved performance from the 1st leg was largely thanks to their scrum half Shaveen Premeratne. He went over for his second try in the 55th minute, showing some razzle dazzle to break the Royal defense yet again. Kodituwakku missed the conversion. (TCK 26 – RC 16)

With only 7 minutes left in the game, Royal hooker Samararatne scored his second try of the match with another rolling maul from a line-out deep inside Trinity 22’. Yahiya missed the conversion. (TCK 26 – RC 21)

Trinity held on to their 5-point lead to secure a consolation win, but it was Royal that celebrated by lifting the prestigious Bradby Shield for another year.

Full-time: Trinity 26 (4T, 2P) – Royal 21 (3T, 2P)

  • NDB Player of the Match – Shaveen Premeratne (Trinity College scrum-half)

Points Breakdown

Trinity College – Shaveen Premeratne 2T, Kaveesha Edama 1T, Lithmal Moragoda 1T, Kovida Wickramasinghe 1P, Anuhas Kodituwakku 1P

Royal College – Dhanuja Samararatne 2T, Pasindu Heshan 1T, Nabeel Yahiya 2P

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