The 15th of June 2019 saw the second leg of the Bradby Shield Encounter played at the Royal College Grounds in Colombo, which were lined with video walls, pyrotechnics and flag bearers, holding high the standards of both schools. Budding young ruggerites were given the opportunity to walk onto the field alongside the members of the 1st XV teams for the introduction line up, an arrangement which was well received by the multitude gathered to watch the much anticipated game of rugby. Among the special guests present in the audience were the honorable Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe along with other Ministers and dignitaries as well. The Chief Guest for the evening was Mr. Ted Hiran Muttiah.
The Royal team trooped onto the field with a 34-17 lead, following their victory at Pallekele a fortnight ago. However, by the end of the first half of the second leg, the Trinitians had the Royalists in retreat with a score of 12-3 in their favor. Trinitian captain and full-back Reshan Bandaranayake led from the front, guiding his team tactfully, throwing himself into the attack and standing strong in the line of defense.
The junior eastern and westerns bands along with the senior cadet band entertained the audience at various intervals before and during the game. The Captains’ Parade added a special nostalgic touch to the event, as did the video featuring the legacy of past captains. Royalists and Trinitians, young and old, were deeply appreciative of the recognition and felicitation of the past captains who once led their respective school teams onto the field. It was a great moment of pride for the captains themselves to walk onto the field and receive the adulation of the entire gathering and be introduced to the chief guest and entourage.
The Royalists came back fighting during the second half of the game, with Half-back Nipuna Yasojana leading the charge with his performance from the base and probing box kicks. The Trinitians put up a stiff resistance scoring another 12 points. But by the end of the second half Royal had succeeded in scoring 13 more points, bringing the total score to 24-13 in Trinity’s favor.
However, according to the rules of the encounter the final victor is the team that scores the most points from both legs of the tournament. Royal’s victory at Pallekele during the first leg gave them a total of 47, whereas Trinity’s final score stood at 41. Thus did the Royalists secure the Bradby Shield for the 34th time since its inception 75 years ago. Mr. Bradby must surely be beaming down upon his boys in pride.
“It was a very close game, and both teams gave it their utmost, thus fulfilling my hope, and that of the multitude that gathered to watch the match, to witness a good game of rugby. I am delighted to say that the 75th Bradby Shield Encounter was a tremendous success. As the Chairman of the Royal College Rugby Match Organizing Committee, I am very proud of my team and all the hard work that they put in to ensure that the event would be a memorable one to all participants. I am grateful to all those who contributed towards making the Bradby Shield’s diamond jubilee an occasion that will be recorded in the history of both schools. My sincere thanks goes to the security forces for the protective measures they implemented and carried out tirelessly to ensure the safety of all who came to watch the Bradby Shield Encounter. Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to all those who attended the matches and supported the teams so wholeheartedly”, stated Mr. Harith Jayasuriya, the Chairman of the Royal College Rugby Match Organizing Committee.