Royal hold clear lead


Royal will be full of confidence (with a comfortable lead of 29 points) when they lock horns with Trinity in the second leg of the 76th Bradby Shield encounter in Pallekelle on 3 September.

Kick-off is scheduled at 4.00 p.m., while the Under-16 encounter is scheduled at 2.45 p.m.

Royal is led by crack centre Kaveen Sasanga. Their star player this year is undoubtedly full back Nabeel Yehya. He can single-handedly destroy any side on his day, being omnipresent. His kicks at goal, too, has a high success rate. Hooker Danuja Samaratane, flanker Abdullah Yusuf and Hasanka Higgoda are three classy players who could fit into any position.

Royal is coached by former CR and FC, Kandy SC and National player Dushantha Lewke, while former Dharmaraja and national player Radhika Hettiarachchi is the assistant coach, and Paul Thomas the Team Manager.

Trinity is led by centre Lithmal Moragoda, who is a fantastic athlete as well. Unfortunately, he is nursing an injury and his chances of playing the full 80 minutes is questionable.

Much will be expected of Harith Samaraweera, Anuhas Kodituwakku, Sheshan Zakir, Kovida Wickremasinghe and Attab Manzil.

Trinity will go all out to play for pride plus a morale boosting win at home, but reclaiming the Bradby faded after their first leg loss in Colombo two weeks back. Trinity last won the Bradby in 2014 under Tharinda Ratwatte.

Trinity is coached by former Havies and National XV-a-side player Kavinda Jayasena, with Thusitha de Silva being his deputy. Hard working Old Boy Rajindra Gamage is their Team Manager.

‘Lion’ Byron Fernando (1982 skipper) Chief Guest

1982 Rugby ‘Lion’ Byron Fernando, the chief guest, will be flying down all the way from Australia for this big occasion. Byron was awarded the ‘Lion’ in 1981 and played under Ravi Bandaranayake. Trinity won both legs in 1982 and Byron holds a unique record: he scored all the points for Trinity in both legs – 9/6 first leg; 6/4 second leg. Byron accumulated over 100 points that season.

Some of the other top players who played alongside Byron were L.S. Pilapitiya, Roshan Ratwatte and Dilip Adihetty. Trinity lost only to Dilroy Fernando’s Isipathana outfit during the 1982 season. Byron also led the Basketball side in 1981.

Trinity squad

Thenuk Fernando, Kaveesha Edama, Loshika Wijekoon, Jayageeth Basnayake, Thisanga Dissanayake, Harith Samaraweera, Shamendra Dissanayake, Chamedra Dhanapala, Sheveen Premaratne, Anuhas Kodituwakku, Upek Gammudali, Lithmal Moragoda (Capt), Abdul Kaleel, Bashara Wijesinghe, Aathab Manzil, Sheshan Zakir, Kovida Wickremasinghe, Ashen Wijesooriya, Rushen Bandaranayake, Senula Alexander, Yasiru Ariyawansa, Bihindu Pananwala, Ravin Ilangaratne, Venuka Kumaraga, Lakindu Herath, Sachindu Wanasekera and Amdan Faizal

Royal squad

Kavinash Srikanth, Dhanuja Samararatne, Shenal Adikaram, Yehan Weerasooriya, Rahil Wijesekera, Abdullah Yoosuf, Yovinda Ethulgala, Randul Bandara, Hasanka Higgoda, Thivan Perera, Pasindu Heshan, Thevinu Saparamadu, Philio Calyanaratne, Kaveen Sasanga (Capt), Nabeel Yehya, Thineth Gamage, Hafeez Akram, Supun Gamlath, Binuda Malalgama, Thavir Hassen, Idrak Farook, Navin Perera, Idris Farook, Harsith Peiris and Duljaya Gamanayake.

Referee Gihan Yatawara

By Special Correspondent