It’s Bradby time again - It’s a Royal call all the way this year

By M. Shamil Amit
Call it an social event or an important game in school calendar, but, when “The Bradby” occurs, the hill-country stops
Royal a school founded in 1835 and Trinity a school founded in 1872, began their association in 1920 when the first match was played with Trinity winning. It took another twenty years for Royal to record their first win in 1941.

The traditional Bradby Shield encounter was born four years later in 1945 when E.L. Bradby the then principal of Royal to ensure the success of the series brought forward a proposal of playing an annual two match series one in Colombo and the other in Kandy.

With the Trinity principal C.E. Simithraarartchy agreeing to the proposal the Royal principal E.L. Bradby offered a shield since then it has been played without a break. The winner being decided on the aggregate of the two legs played and the winner keeping the shield for the ensuing year.

The encounters could also boast of drawing the most number of spectators in any rugby match in the country whether schools or club level. Old Boys of both schools here and abroad too use this historic encounter as a platform to bring back old nostalgias.The 100th encounter between the two schools was played in 1983 where the chief guest was E.L. Bradby himself and his wife as the guest of honour of the Royal College Union. The Bradby Shield has so far seen 64 contests.

In 1971 only a one leg of the encounter took place due to unrest in the country. In 1992 both legs of the encounter ended in draws and it is also up to date the only drawn series of the contest.

Royal has the honour of recording the largest win when the team was led by Zulki Hamid who won the shield with an 83-0 aggregate in 2002. The narrowest margin of win was by Trinity winning the shield with a 25-24 aggregate in 1997. Trinity also has the honour of recording the highest sequence of wins from 1952 to 1957 while Royals best is four from 2001 to 2004. This year Royal led by fly half Naren Dhason are going great guns having so far notching up three wins. Naren in his ranks has nine more experienced players which for sure are going to be a threat for the Trinitians.

No doubt the Royalists will be coming to avenge their 20-24 defeat of last year. They surrendered the first leg 12-24 but came to take the second leg 8-0. But predicting the outcome in an encounter of this nature is not going to be easy.

The scales are nevertheless in favour of the Reid Avenue boys as on paper they are a strong outfit who are capable to match any and they showed that in the matches that they have played so far.
The cynosure of all eyes will be the senior players like skipper Naren, his deputy Nikira Senanayake, Hasthika Bandaranayake, Shailendra Chandrasekera, Duminda Attygalle and Kalana Amarasinghe.
Then comes Udara de Silva, Nabeel Faizer, Mushin Faleel along with Asif Akram, Shehan Pathirana, Shameer Fajudeen and Hamza Hassan to support the above mentioned. With this composition Royal has the ammunition to give the Lions a fight.

But even then they cannot afford to take the Lions lightly as they too possess a side that could give any side a run for their money.

Royal from - Naren Dhason (Captain and fly-half), Nikira Senanayake (Vice Captain and prop), Duminda Attygalle (centre), Hasthika Bandaranayake (flanker), Shailendra Chandrasekera (fullback), Kalana Amarasinghe (second row), Shamil Ahmed (centre), Shameer Fajudeen (prop), Nabeel Faizer (winger), Shehan Pathirana (second row/flanker), Musheen Faleel (centre), Ranithra Chandraratne (winger), Ashen Dassanayake (prop), Udara de Silva (hooker), Nabeel Jalaldeen (flanker), Aqeel Sathuk (scrumhalf), Hamza Hassen (No.8), Chamara Dabare (winger), Asif Akram (fly-half), Aadil Jabbar (hooker), Chilanka Samaraweera (flanker), Yudith Karunaratne (prop), Ranga Perera (flanker/second row), Deen Cassim (scrumhalf). Theo Serafinm (Head coach). Bilal Yusuf (Asst. Coach)
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