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DateLine Sunday, 3 June 2007

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Government Gazette

Bradby 'first leg': Five Trinitians injured - face uphill task

RUGBY: It's Bradby time once more and Royal will lock horns with Trinity in the first leg of this great series on June 9 at the Bogambara Stadium. This encounter will also count as one of the league games in the top schools division.

Altogether there will be five matches on this day - under 12 encounter at 2.15 p.m., under 14 game at 2.40 p.m., under 16 game at 3.00 p.m., the under 18 game at 3.45 p.m. and the first fifteen game at 4.45 p.m.

In the past on more than one occasion, the weaker side in the schools league has ended as the winner at the Bradby. There is a saying that 'Bradby' is a different game and never take the weaker side lightly. Royal on looks the stronger outfit. But the 'Lions' are game for it.

The under 17 game will be played for the Sumithrarachchi Trophy and the first XV game will be played for Bradby Shield.

Bradby was on offer for the first time when Principal of Royal College (1939-1945) E. L. Bradby offered the trophy. At that time, Trinity was administered by C. E. Sumithrarachchi who offered the under 18 trophy. The former national skipper and Trinity 'Lion' Pradeep Basnayake is coach of the Trinity under 18.

In the inaugural 'Bradby Shield' in 1945 C. D. L. Fernando led Royal and R. G. Sourjah led the 'Lions'. Though Royal won the first leg 3-0, the 'Lions' stormed back by winning the second leg and the Bradby.

Trinity dominated the series of wins from 1950-80. They won the 'Plum' from 1952-1957 for 6 years. Royal's best in series wins were from 2001-2004, wining 4 in-a-row.

The 100th encounter between the two schools was played in 1983.

Two scrum halves led both the schools. Royal was led by Sriyan Cooray and the 'Lions' were led by Ashan Ratwatte. Trinity won on aggregate 20-16.

Only once, in the history of the Bradby Shield both games ended in draws. In 1992 the first leg ended in a nil-all draw and the 'second leg' three all. Himesh Gunatilake led the Trinity outfit and the Royal side was captained by Harindu Wijesinghe.

Royal's best victory came in 2002 when Zulki Hameed led them to massacre Trinity by 83 points to nothing in both the legs. 'Lions' took sweet revenge for their heavy defeat in 2005. They outclassed and outplayed Royal by 69-13 points. Trinity outfit was led by B. N. R. Fernando.

So far in this series, Trinity are leading with 34 wins to Royal's 27 with one encounter ending in a 'tie'.

Trinity had a mixed season in 2007. They are led by burly second-rower Sean Wanigasekera. The main concern for the 'Lions' was the injury hit team. No less than 5 players are half fit. Starting with the skipper Sean Wanigasekera who is suffering from a knee injury and is taking pain killers. Mahen Wickremasiri, Kenneth Jacobs, Sathya Ranathunge and Mohamed Jezzel all are on the injury list, missing more than two games each.

Trinity started their season without even a warm-up game. With the season kicking-off early as end of April, they had to travel to Colombo to meet their Canon De Saram trophy rivals Thomians. After a close game, the Trinitians were edged out by the Thomians 15-19.

In the second game, the 'Lions' were edged out by the Antonians 13-14. Though the 'Lions' performed way below standard, they were deprived of a victory where one of their tries were disallowed by the referee.

They once gain had to travel down to Colombo for their third game-this time against Wesley. After an erratic start, the Trinitians settled well to topple Wesley by a huge 48-20 win. The fourth encounter was once again in Colombo with the high riding Peterites at Bambalapitiya. After a close fight in the initial half, the 'Lions' were outplayed by a better side on that day by 24-3.

Ananda pulled out of the Trinity game, citing injury problems to 5 of their players. By the time the article is published, Trinity would have faced their last game against Kingswood.

Meanwhile, Royal outfit is led by Prop Manilka Abeyratne. They kicked-off the season with the game against Wesley which they won comfortably by 35-12. The next two games Royal had easy outings against Thurstan (25-7) and Ananda (19-0).

The going got tough on the Royalists when they confronted Kingswood.

After leading most part of the game, Royal went down fighting 12-29. Then they had to travel up to Kandy to meet the high-riding Antnoians where they were well beaten 12-26.

All in all, the first leg of the 63rd Bradby Shield is poised to be a good affair with Royal holding a slight edge over their rivals Trinity who are injury prone with more than 5 of their senior players on the injured list:

Trinity (pool): Sean Wanigasekera (captain), Mahen Wickramasiri, Kenneth Jacobs, Krishan Kirinde, Sathya Ranathunge, Jezzel Hassan, Rajitha Ranawana, Ishan Deane, Azvar Marzook, Milinda Gunawardena, Pulasthi Gamage, Nimendra Nayakaratne, Vishvejith Wijesinghe, Hasindu Dassanayake, Kasun Weerasinghe, Fazal Zawahir, Arindu Bulanawewa, Roshan Jayaratne, Kenneth Armstrong, Adeeb Hameed, Lasantha Samarasekera, Idrees Omar, Ishrath Singhalaxana, Ruzni Ramzeen, Shamreen Zameem, Rishan Vidanagamage, Charith Adikaram, Cinci Siegertsz, Rangika Ailapperuma and Rashika Ailapperuma.

Royal (pool): Nikira Senanayake, Udara De Silva, Manil Abeyrathne (captain), Ranga Perera, Ashen Dasanayake, Ayesh Rajapakse, Yudith Karunarathne, Janith Samarasinghe, Thushan Perera, Maduranga Hettiarachchi, Hasthika Bandaranayake, Eranjan Punchihewa, Ashik Bari, Bilal Hassen, Vinodh Malwatte, Rameez Rafeek, Naren Dhason, Surith Adhihetty, Omar Hassen, Suvindha Lenaduwa (vice-captain), Asif Hussain, Duminda Attygalle, Mhailendra Chandrasegara and Ishara Perera.

Dilroy Fernando will referee the match.

 

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