A Review by Muhammed Jameel (Web Content Team)
The 77th Bradby Shield 1st Leg Encounter took place on July 22, 2023, at the Pallakalle Rugby Stadium, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. The long-awaited clash saw Trinity College emerge victorious in a thrilling match.
Led by a determined lineup including Thenuk Fernando, Dehan Watagoda, Senula Alexander, Venuka Kumarage, Ravin Illangaratne, Harith Samaraweera, Chamendra Dhanapala, Thisanga Dissanayake, Rushen Bandaranayake, Shan Althaf, Anuhas Kodithuwakku, Lakindu Herath, Sachindu Wansekara, Abidh Jameel, and Attab Manzil, the Trinity Lions showed unwavering belief and trust in their abilities giving a nail-biting encounter to all spectators.
From the moment the lions lined up in the tunnel, their passion and dedication to Trinity were evident. The game kicked off with fierce aggression, with Trinity initially pushed back into their own half. The Trinity defense was torn apart as the clear space left on the blind side was a gift to the Royalists. The ball was worked beautifully and the Trinitians were punished for the gaps in the defense line. The conversion however going astray. Despite the challenges, the lions strategized for more points and opted for a penalty goal, with young Shan Althaf taking the kick, but nerves got the better of him, and the ball went astray.
The Royalists fought back, executing a relentless ‘Royal rolling maul’ that threatened Trinity. However, the Trinitians showcased incredible strength, stopping the maul and quickly launching an attack with the ball in hand.
Mistakes and penalties came into play, but both teams showcased impressive resilience. The Royalists secured two tries, though the conversion was foiled by the unyielding wind.
Half Time – TCK (0) vs RCK (10)
Trinity had several opportunities to gain ground, but missteps and fumbles hindered their progress. However, they were awarded a penalty near the goalposts, and Shan Althaf redeemed himself, successfully scoring a penalty goal.
The second half saw the lions roaring with determination, ushering the Royalists into their own half. Trinity gained territory and looked set to score, but the Royal defense held them up, denying them a try.
The Trinitians continued to push forward, tantalizingly close to glory but encountering some setbacks. However, their determination paid off when the mighty flanker, Thisanga Dissanayake, scored Trinity’s first try, with Shan Althaf converting it perfectly.
As the Royalists chose not to risk another rolling maul, the Tuskers opted for a penalty goal, which unfortunately lacked direction and distance.
In the game’s thrilling climax, a penalty was awarded to Trinity in front of the posts. Shan Althaf seized the opportunity and kicked the decisive penalty goal.
With emotions running high, the final whistle blew, sealing Trinity’s 13-10 victory over the Royal Tuskers.
Full Time – TCK (13) vs RCC (10)
The Under 16 category saw Trinity continue their winning streak, securing a triumphant 15-10 victory over the Royalists.
Special thanks were extended to the coaching staff of the 1st XV team and the Under 16 team, as well as the National Kandyan Dancing Troupe for their captivating performances.
The support from the Trinity community, including students, alumni, faculty, and loyal fans, proved to be an invaluable source of motivation and encouragement. Their unwavering presence at the stadium and unwavering belief in the team added an electrifying atmosphere to the match, amplifying the roar of the Trinity Lions.
Beyond the victory, this encounter showcased the enduring spirit of sportsmanship, where competitors displayed mutual respect and camaraderie, reflecting the true essence of the Bradby Shield tradition.
As the Lions bask in the glory of their triumph and prepare for the next challenge in the 2nd Leg, the entire Trinity community stands united in celebration of this momentous achievement. The journey to reclaim the Bradby Shield after 11 years was a testament to their resilience, passion, and commitment to excellence. With each victory, they carve a legacy that will inspire future generations of Trinity Lions.
Let the reverberating roar of triumph echo far and wide – we believe!