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Regal Royal complete another master-class

Regal Royal complete another master-class

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A complete victory for Royal College who won the 73rd Bradby Shield encounter by an aggregate of 35-26

A master-class by Royal’s famed forwards made certain that the coveted Bradby Shield remained at the Royal Complex for another year at least. Trinity’s forwards were not in the picture and they were forced to play second fiddle to a rampant Royal side that, at times, put on a regal show of power and tactical nous.

The final score line of 13-8 could lead one to believe that the match was oh-so-close. That was not the real situation however. A first half that meandered, and a half time score of 3 all may have provided a glimmer of hope and a window of opportunity to the visitors.

Yet, Royal as good as won the game when prop forwards Ashen Fernando in the fifth minute and Himantha Hirushan three minutes later crossed the line for unconverted tries. It was 13-3 at that stage and although there were around 30 minutes of play left, Trinity was clutching at straws.

At this point, in a desperate throw of the dice, Trinity reenacted the scenario at Pallekelle in those last ten minutes. However the intensity of effort was lacking and the winners were able to come through even though they failed to prevent a try by prop Aveesha Priyankara, around five minutes from time. The fact that all the tries in this game were scored by the props rightly indicates a real battle among the forwards.

There was excitement early on when a Royal kick ahead was charged down by fly half Lashan Wijesuriya. Trinity forced a lineout deep in Royal’s 22, but the defence overcame that lapse. They broke the ice in the fourth minute when Wijesuriya converted a simple 15metre penalty. Dilshan kicked deep and a Trinity defender dropped the ball behind him. A Royalist picked up and tried to force his way through but to no avail.

A Royal player advances under heavy underfoot conditions - Pix by Amila Gamage

Royal pinned Trinity down in their 22. They felt they had done enough to score the first try of the match as they pushed their way over the line. However the review by the TMO went against them.

Trinity barely survived after full back Rashen Bandaranayake didn’t collect cleanly. A Royalist followed up and applied the boot to the ball twice. Unfortunately the second kick took the ball over the dead ball line.

Royal’s pressure paid dividends when their opponents conceded a penalty which was easily knocked over by Shaqir Naufer. Royal’s number 8 Calyanaratna master-minded a good move which gained them a lot of ground. But Trinity was able to thwart a score. A long pass to second centre Dilshan was knocked on, with the goal line just a few yards away.

It was three all at the break and the prospect of another bitter battle loomed. Royal were given a free kick and they used it to take play five yards from the line. A rolling maul followed a scrum and Ashen Fernando was over for the first try of the game. A wet ball as a result of pre-match showers may have caused Nufer to be off target (8-3).

Three minutes later Himantha Hirushan delivered what was effectively the coup de grace when he went over. Naufer’s kick struck the left upright and bounced away.

One sensed that Royal were now playing with more freedom, happy in the thought that the game, as well as the Bradby were theirs for the taking. Trinity got into the Royal 22, and a player made a determined effort to go through a clutch of defenders. On two occasions when Trinitians made break-throughs and were heading for the line, a Royalist seemed to appear from nowhere to effect the game-saving tackle.

It was muddy in parts and conditions underfoot were not conducive to open play. The forwards came in to the picture more and this suited Royal right down to the ground.

It wasn’t all that easy for the winners, but on the run of play, the Royal win was richly deserved. Coach Martis’s prolonged exhortations during the break must certainly have had an impact.

Referee – Rohan Fernando

Posted on 2017-06-04 20:59:14
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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