Sad ending for delayed Bradby match but memories still linger | Sunday Observer

Sad ending for delayed Bradby match but memories still linger

18 October, 2020

The 76th Bradby Shield rugby match between Royal College and Trinity College will not be played this year according to the Old Trintiains Rugby scrummage.

The match was being looked forward to by rugby fans but was put on hold since May hoping for a date. The first leg was scheduled for May 30 and the second match on June 13.

Going back in history, the first match between these schools was played on July 31, 1920 and was made a yearly encounter with Trinity College winning for the first 21 years until the Royalists recorded their first victory in 1941.

In 1945, the principal of Royal College, EL Bradby, put forward the idea of playing an annual two-match series, to which the principal of Trinity College, CE Simithraaratchy readily agreed. To ensure the success of the series, Royal Principal EL Bradby offered a Shield and the series has been played annually and uninterrupted ever since.

The Shield was designed and made by Kandyan silversmiths with a wooden disk decorated with intricate traditional Kandyan silver works. The agreement was that the Shield should be presented to the winning team’s captain soon after the final whistle at the second leg.

Today the junior game is played for the Simithraaratchy Cup which was donated by an old boy George Hemachandra. Thus the two principals who went all out for the Bradby have two trophies named in their memory.

So every year Old Boys of both schools use the Bradby as a convenient time to organize get-togethers and engage in much revelry. Out of the 75 contests so far, Trinity leads the series having won the Shield 39 times and Royal 34 with two ties. The Bradby series began sensationally on July 12, 1945 when the Royal side led by CDL Fernando beat Trinity led by Robert Sourjah 3-0 in the first leg and in the second leg Trinity won 6-0. In the following year the same process was repeated when Trinity lost the first leg in Kandy 0-3 and won the return match in Colombo 8-0. In that year, the Trinitians were led by SB Pilapitiya and Royal by Mahesh Rodrigo. Then in 1962, Royal under UL Kaluarachchi won the first game 5-0 and lost the return game to the Trinitians led by NTE Brohier 9-0.

In 1972, Athula Unantenne led the Trinitians who were celebrating their centenary. Royal won the first leg in Colombo by 9 points to 8 and in the return in Kandy, Trinity won by 10 points to 3. That year Royal were led by GDS Gunasekara.

The writer wishes to go back to the 1958 game, where Royal won after seven years.

This game was played at Nittawela and was one of the best school games seen in that year. From the word go the boys went at it like men possessed. It was indeed a rousing game of rugby. The large crowd present were satisfied, though neither Trinity nor Royal won a point. In this game Royal had the edge over Trinity. They had a heaver pack and their back-line went in for short, crisp, passes, the spirit of passes that the forwards could join in on and they often did.

In the first half Royal had more of the game territorial and in the second half nearly two thirds of it. But during the last ten minutes Trinity attacked vigorously and all but failed to score twice.

This made the game an exciting one. G. Yangeyzel and M. Anghie the Royal fly half and fullback relieved pressure by some fine kicks to touch and helped to push back the Trinitians by this method.

Ken de Joodt and N. Maralande of Trinity gained welcome breathing spaces for their team by finding touch.

Trinity did well to win a number of scrums against a heavier pack. In the line-outs Trinity did better with EDK Roles always prominent and R. Hermon tireless at all times.

In the second half Royal laid siege on the Trinity goal and were it not for some ferocious tackling by the Trinitians, they should have scored at least three or four tries.

It was only in the 45th minute that Ken de Joodt with a terrific 40-yard punt brought play into the Royal half.

From then on Royal had their hands full preventing the Trinitians from going through.

The pace was furious. The first leg went in favour of Royal Colleg 6-0 and the second leg was a scoreless draw.

Royal: G. Yangeyzel, EL Pereira, OG Samaratunge, A. Rankine, L. Senaratne, M. Anghie, R. Pothuhera, Soysa, K. Balendra, L. de Silva, R. Samarasekara, HS de Silva, R. Sivaratnam, DN Fernando, R. Fernando.

Trinity: M. Talwatte, SB de Silva, P. Buultejns. Ken de Joodt, ARM Azain, N. Maralande, D. Kobbekaduwa, J. Dias de Singhe, MG de Alwis, RH Wijenayake, RB Abeyakoon, EDK Roles, R. Hermon, KJ Murray, D. Janahjiram