Trinity win 76th Bradby Shield-2nd leg by 26-21
BY Jason Perera
Trinity College Kandy staged a stunning win over Royal College by 26 points (4 tries, 2 penalties) to 21 (3 tries, 2 penalties) in their 76th Bradby Shield second leg encounter played at Trinity Sports Complex at Pallekele, Kandy. Though won the 2nd leg, Trinitians could not claim the Bradby as Royalists enjoyed their 1st leg win with a comfortable lead of 29-0 that helped them to retain the Bradby for the 06th year in a row.
At ‘lemons’ Trinity led 10 points to 8.
A thrilling encounter was on the cards before the commencement of the match and also a ‘surprise’ was expected from the Trinity outfit to pull off the game in their favour after the humiliation in Colombo. It was a mountain to climb for Trinity and as expected it was precisely what they almost did as the entire Trinity Lions fought like a hungry pack, especially in the second half giving no chance whatsoever to their opponents as Royal collapsed to the immense pressure applied by the Trinity team.
Incidentally, Trinity College 1982 Rugby captain Byron Fernando was the Chief Guest for the second leg, an inspirational leader who led from the front by scoring all points in both legs, which is a record for a captain in the series, to win the Bradby in 1982.
Royal broke the ‘ice’ early in the game and went into a 3 nil lead when fullback Nabeel Yahiya put over a difficult 30 metre penalty.
Trinity grabbed the lead to 5-3 when their Captain Lithmal Moragoda collected the loose ball to score the opening try of the match, within just four minutes of kick-off but Kovida Wickramasinghe failed with the difficult conversion.
Soon after Trinity scored a try through Shaveen Premeratne in the 9th minute of the match but Wickramasinghe failed with the conversion again. Trinity went further ahead by 10-3.
In the 28th minute of the game center Philio Calyanaratne managed to put winger Pasindu Heshan into open space, and the winger went over the line to score the first try for Royal. Yahiya failed with the conversion again. But Royal closed the gap to 8-10.
The score remained 10-8 in favour of Trinity at the breather.
After the lemons, Royal took back the lead with a rolling maul try courtesy their hooker Dhanuja Samararatne. Yahiya fluffed the conversion again but Royal took the lead back to 13-10.
Trinity levelled the scores after fly-half Kovida Wickramasinghe slotted in a 30 metre penalty to equal the score to 13 all.
Trinity took back the lead to 18-13 when hooker Kaveesha Edema barged over for their third try which went unconverted.
In the 48th minute, Trinity extended their lead to 21-13 when their second-choice place kicker Anuhas Kodituwakku fired across a penalty.
In the 50-minute mark of the match. Yahiya slotted in his second penalty kick to reduce the deficit with 20 minutes left in the game. Trinity led 21 – 16)
Trinity scrum-half Shaveen Premeratne scored his second try in the 55th minute, showing some fabulous footwork to break the Royal defence yet again. Kodituwakku missed the conversion but Trinity went into a further 26 – 16 lead.
Royal scored a consolation try in the 64th minute of the game through hooker Samararatne who scored his second try of the match with another driving maul. Yahiya missed the conversion and Royal was trailing Trinity 21-26.
Referee – Gihan Yatawara
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