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Host Royal College surprised Trinity with a 22-17 win in the first leg of the Bradby Shield rugby encounter which took place at the Royal Sports Complex in Colombo \ (Pix by Damith Wickremesinghe)

Royal College rugby team stole the limelight on May 30 when they produced a fantastic performance to beat traditional rivals Trinity College by 22 points to 17 in the first-leg of the 72nd Bradby Shield encounter at the Royal Sports Complex in Reid Avenue. They are now set to retain the Bradby Shield for the second successive year despite starting the game as underdogs.
Royal produced one of their finest displays in the ongoing league tournament and surprised their opponents by scoring three tries and one penalty.

The Trinitians on the other hand came for the match being under tremendous pressure having lost to the Thomians. Trinity conceded an early try soon after the kick-off. They were shocked and never looked like winning the game thereafter.

The secret behind Royal’s success was that they stuck to their game plan. They really played to their strengths. Their forwards were up to the mark at breakdown points created many turnovers. They outplayed the Trinitians in the set pieces.

The change in the weather conditions during the game also helped Royal to a great extent. They dominated play with their forwards who were able to handle the wet ball excellently.

The host team was a force when they positioned themselves in a rolling maul.

Trinity didn’t seem to have a solid game plan, hence they ran out of options.

S. Thomas’ retains shield
S. Thomas’ College survived an early fight from Wesley College before earning a hard-fought 19 points to nil victory in another Inter-Schools ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament match played at Havelock Park last week.
The Thomians scored one try in the first half and two in the second half before retaining the Sir Oliver Goonetilleke Shield. Wesley on the other hand certainly displayed their fighting spirit and looked like turning tables on the Thomians. However, they were no match for the heavy Thomian forwards, who played well in wet ground conditions.

Isipathana win thriller
Isipathana College were cruising along towards a comfortable victory in the first half after they had built up a hefty 21-8 lead at half-time against Science College. However the green shirts had to sweat in the end to pull off a thrilling 29-23 win at Havelock Park.
The Isipathana three quarters played exceptionally well.

Science College put up a tremendous performance through a superb second half rally. At one stage of the game they reduced the margin in points to a single digit.

Isipathana remain unbeaten with the win and finished on top of the points table in their group.

Petes sing in the rain
St. Peter’s College enjoyed a convincing 36-6 victory over Dharmaraja College in their Singer Inter-school under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament match at Bambalapitiya.
The Peters were able to cross the Rajan goal line on five occasions despite the ground being waterlogged. This win enabled the Petes to finish third place in the points table in their group.

SACK taste victory
St. Anthony’s College edged out Kingswood College Kandy 23-22 in another interesting Singer Inter-school under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament match at the Bogambara Stadium.
The Antonians who were trailing 10-12 at half time came back magnificently to snatch the game with a last minute try. The vital touchdown, made by their hero Samuel Maduwantha, enabled them to secure a top four finish in the points table.  The winners now get an opportunity to play in the Cup Championship.

Joes impress
St. Joseph’s College produced their best effort in the current season when they ran riot against the hapless D.S. Senanayake College to record an 80-7 win. The match was played at Longden Place last week.

The Joes scored as many as 14 tries in this one-sided game, but unfortunately they were relegated to the ‘B’ Division.

The Chief Guest at the Bradby Shield Rohantha Peiris (second from right and seated in the marked enclosure) catches the action while seated alongside Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (Damith Wickremesinghe)
The Chief Guest at the Bradby Shield Rohantha Peiris (second from right and seated in the marked enclosure) catches the action while seated alongside Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (Damith Wickremesinghe)