Bradby Shield First Leg:
Royal in pulsating 23-22 win over Trinity
Royal broke their ‘hoodoo’ at Trinity’s den when they scored a wafer
thin 23 points (one goal, two tries, two penalties) to 22 (two goals,
one try, one penalty) win over Trinity College in the First Leg of the
71st Bradby Shield encounter played before a capacity crowd at the
Trinity College Rugby Stadium, Pallekele yesterday. At half time the
Lions led 12-10.
Though the Royalists won by a single point they dominated play
winning most of the line outs and the scrums and their loose play was
also exceptionally good.
A Trinity player trying to break off from a tackle at the
1st Leg of the Bradby Shield played at Pallekele yesterday
Pic: Susantha Wijegunasekera
Every time the Royalists got the ball in Trinity territory they were
threatening to score. The first 19 minutes saw the Royal forwards
dominating play as they could have scored twice but it was the solid
defence put up by the Lions which thwarted their chances..
It was in the 20th minute that the scoreboard started moving when one
of Trinity’s lineout jumpers tapped the ball and scrum half Anuk
Boyagoda collecting the ball cut through the Royal defence to score
mid-left. Thisila Perera added the extra points. Trinity 7-0.
Royalists fought back making in roads into the Lions territory. A
Trinity player was spotted off side and full back Ovin Askey converted
the penalty to reduce the lead to 3-7.
In the 25th minute, the Royalists were going good when Trinity’s lock
forward Rahul Karunatilleke intercepted a pass and made a breezy run to
score near the posts and stand off Thisila Perera’s kick, hit the
up-right and rebounded. Trinity 12-3.
In the 30th minute, Royal skipper and winger Bhanuka Gamage
collecting the ball from centre Akash Iddamalgoda made a splendid dash
to score under the post and Ovin Askey added the extra points. Royal
A few minutes later, Trinity could have extended their lead by a
further three points but the penalty which was awarded once again struck
the upright. .
The second half saw a terrific onslaught by the Royalists who
shattered the Lions defence from the word go.
The very first minute of this half saw Royal’s winger Mahinda Gamage
sliced through Trinity’s defence to score far left and full back Ovin
Askey failed to add the extra points and the Royalists led for the first
In the 7th minute, Royal’s winger Shalika Feroze showed a clean pair
of heels to Lions’ defence to go over far left. The try conversion was
missed by Askey. Royal led 20-12.
Trinity at this stage made two changes Anuk Boyagoda and Rahul
Karunatilleke both were try scorers in the initial half.
In the 14th minute, a Trinity player was penalized for ‘going over
the top’ and Ovin Askey fired over the penalty to make it 23-12. In just
14 minutes, the Royalists had scored 13 points.
In the 21st minute, a penalty put over by Thisila Perera resulted in
the Lions reducing the lead to 15-23.
The game hotted up with the Lions attacking and the Royalists
defending stoutheartedly in thier aim, perhaps to preserve their lead.
In the 27th minute, Trinity moved the ball and winger Saranga
Gunatilleke touched down near the post and full back Thisila Perera
added the extra points to make it 22-23.
The dying stages of the game saw both teams being awarded two
penalties but they could not convert them into points.
Dinka Peries refereed.
Before the commencement of the match both teams were introduced to
the chief guest and Trinity’s captain of 1978 and Rugby Lion Janaka