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Trinity 39 wins, Royal 30 and one 'tie':

'Bradby' time at Pallekele

Saturday 9th of May is going to be the 71st Bradby Shield Rugby encounter at Pallekele Stadium, Kandy. It will also serve as a Division I, Segment 1 "B" Schools League Rugby Tournament fixture and it should be a close match as both teams are unbeaten. The '2nd Leg' of the encounter will be played on 23rd May at the Royal Sports Complex, Colombo.


Action at a Bradby Shield match - File photo

The 'Bradby' tally - Trinity 39 wins to Royal's 30 and there was one 'tie'.

The first encounter will be played under the patronage of 1978 Trinity skipper Janaka Kiridena and the second leg, it is the turn of 1974 captain Brumon Akbar, but Akbar is 'no more' and the next senior player of that team Rambinal Samarasinghe will grace the game.

The 'Bradby Shield' encounter - commonly known as 'The Bradby' is the Blue-Ribbon of the Schools Rugby.

But unfortunately, on same day at Nittawela, Kandy St. Anthony's College will host S. Thomas' College, and at Bogambara, another game - Dharmaraja vs Science College will take place.

Rugby at three venues

It is somewhat disturbing fact for rugby fans that the matches have been divided into three venues. This has never happened before when the 'Bradby' is played at one town and other games are fixed for another day merely to allow both spectators and school students an opportunity to witness the 'Bradby' which usually draws around a 20,000 and over rugby spectators.

So, It's going to be an exciting game of rugby, the Trinity vs Royal encounter. One hour before the 'Bradby' will be the game between the two under 18 teams for the Simithrarachie Trophy, which was donated by an Old Trinitian George Hemachandra. The 'Rugger Ball' organised by the TCK OBA (Kandy Branch) headed by M.M.M. Sulaiman and his committee will take place at Suiss Hotel, this dinner dance which has been traditionally after the 'Kandy leg' of the Bradby encounter is eagerly awaited by the two teams.

Today, Sri Lanka is the only country in Asia in which one of the British imports "Rugby" of the Colonial era rugby which has survived over 136 year-old history dating back to 1879.

Trinity College took to rugby in 1906 under Rev. A.G. Fraser. At that time no other school played rugby up to 1920. During this period, Trinity had to be satisfied with matches with scratch Ceylonese teams with masters, all Englishmen also helping the school.

Though the Kingswoodians started rugby in 1891, they gave up in 1906, after the first inter-school match against Trinity.

Royal Principal Reed brought Rugby to school

Royal took to rugby in 1920 with the arrival of Principal H.L. Reed, with only a few months of training, the Royalists challenged the experienced Trinitians. Royal gave up Association Football to take up Rugby. So, the Trinitians with no other opponents at school level gladly accepted Royal's offer. Some disease in Kandy nearly stopped the match, the Trinitians readily agreed to travel down to Colombo. But they had to keep some of their stalwarts behind as there was the key Stubbs Shield Boxing Meet on the same day. On 31st of July 1920, Trinitians were seen at the Royal College grounds at Thurstan Road, the present University Grounds.

In this first game, Trinity beat Royal by 26 points to nil. The two teams were made up of players (For Trinity): C. David, E.M. Lalyett, A.P. Maralande, N. Moomnemalle, L.C. de Mel, H.R.V. Johnston, V.C. Shockman, J.L.C. Periers (Capt), C.E. Weereumal, C. Wells, S. Thirunavkarasu, A.P. Kandasamy, W. Wettasinghe, A.W. Mayanga.

Referee A.C. Houlder.

(For Royal) E.C. Rose, E.N.I. Jonklass, A. Speldewinde, P. Batholomeuse, M. Morgan, C.G.A. Perera (Capt), T. Tweed, D.R. Rutnam, C.H. Hettiarachchi, S.C. Blok, H. Vancuylenberg, E.K. de Vos, G. Senaratne, A. de Bruin, H. Sansoni.

Then in 1945, for this game, the Royal's Principal Mr. E.L. Bradby who was leaving presented a shield in order to revive the dying interest in the game. Around this time these two schools together with Zahira College and St. Peter's College were in the game, and these two schools had to keep away due to the war. So, at that time only the Colombo Rugger Club (an amalgamation of all the Colombo sides, the University, Royal and Trinity were still in it.

Bradby Shield Rugby came in after war

After the war, the Bradby Shield has taken pride of place in the school rugby calendar. The Shield was introduced, and the winner was decided on aggregate of points of the two games played, that was one in Kandy and the other in Colombo.

When this suggestion came from E.L. Bradby, the Trinity principal at that time was C.E. Simithraaratchy who readily agreed. There was one person who objected to the Bradby, that is the 1945 Trinity coach Philip Buultjens.

At that time, it was only two schools who were involved in the game, and it was felt that playing for a trophy would help to stimulate the dying interest in the game and Philip Buultjens objection was overturned.

The first Bradby Shield game was played at Racecourse grounds. Royal were led by C.D.L. Fernando and Trinity by Robert Sourjah. The 'first leg' was played in Colombo and the Royalist were the winners 3-0 (one try). The 'second-leg' was played at Bogambara, and in that game Trinitians were led by S.B. Pilapitya, and Trinity beat Royal led by C.D.L. Fernando by 6-0 ( two tries), and with this win, Trinitians managed to win the shield in the inaugural year, on the basis of aggregate.

On 23rd July 1948, Royal captain gets a Telegram through Cable and Wireless Ltd, addressed to M.A.A. Cader - Royal College, Colombo, BEST CONGRATULATIONS TO ROYAL FIFTEEN ON DOUBLE VICTORY OVER TRINITY = FROM E.L. BRADBY.

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