Trinity clear first hurdle
One of those moments….. The Trinity winger Kenan Armstrong ran into plant two tries is pinned down by the Royal defence on this occasion. (Pic by Ranjith Perera)

Trinity 24 - Royal 12
By M. Shamil Amit

What a whopper it was! It was vintage rugby that was dished out at Reid Avenue yesterday, as Trinity made amends to their last year’s follies by running to post a 24 points (2 goals and 2 tries) to 12 points ( A goal and a try) win over Royal in the first leg of the 64th Bradby Shield Encounter.

The pace set by both sides from the first whistle was furious. However the game plan of the two sides worked in the opposite directions. Royal working round their roving No 8 Bilal Hassan chose to have their faith in their forwards, while the lads from Kandy, enjoying the balmy weather blessed upon them by Mother Nature, ran the ball at every opportunity that came their way. Ample proof to that statement came in the pattern of their scoring. Royal’s two tries were planted by No.8 Bilal Hassan while the four Trinity tries were scored by their wing three quarters.

While all the lovely work was being done by the thirty lads in the middle, there was also an unwarranted incident upon the Trinity third try when a section of the crowed began to hurl objects at the Trinity winger Kenan Armstrong who was trying to add the extra points. However the ten minute break that followed also may have cost Royal’s cause more than the final score line showed.

It was Royal who scored first in the second minute of the game when Bilal Hassan led a raid on the Trinity score line and planted one under the posts. Duminda Attygala added the extra points and Royal were up 7 -0.

The first one…. Trinity wing three-quarter Viswajith Wijesinghe scoring the first try for the winners.

But, the Royal frenzy was short lived. Ten minutes later the Trinity three quarters were in motion and it was the turn of winger Viswajith Wijesinghe to run the last distance and score by the posts. His opposite number Kenan Armstrong added the extra points to his effort and the scores were level at 7 all.

That level also did not last long. With the next kick off Trinity turned the round of play round and once again the threes were there in action and this time it was Kenan Armstrong who ran through the last Royal defender to score another try by the posts. He added the extra points himself and the visitors enjoyed a healthy 14-7 lead at the breather.

With the change of sides Trinity were in action and once again it was Kennon Armstrong who defeated the Royal defence to score an unconverted try. Trinity now led by 19 points to 7. A while later Trinity rubbed more salt into Royal’s injury when their replacement winger Lasantha Samarasekera ran into score another unconverted try to give their final score of 24 points.

To this Royal scored through a rolling maul with Hassan once again crossing the opposition, but, finally one wondered if Royal had depended too much on this lad’s talents and built up their whole game plan around him.

The second leg task is daunting. But, if they also do not make up any fall back plans, the Bradby Shield could be housed at Kandy for one whole year coming.

Referee: Priyantha Gunaratne
Royal won the Simithriarachchi second XV encounter by 13 points to 5 after leading 8-5 at half time.

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