The Bradby Shied Encounter is an event marked in gold in any Trinitian’s calendar. It is held between two of the most prestigious schools in the country; Trinity College Kandy and Royal College Colombo. This contest is referred to as the clash between ‘Lions and Elephants’. There are two encounters to the Bradby Shield: the first leg and the second leg. The victor is decided on the aggregate of the scores from these two matches, usually played a few weeks apart. The shield is presented to the winning team at the end of the second leg. One of the main reasons of having two encounters is so that the event is held in both home towns of the schools.
Royal College and Trinity College were the first elite schools in Sri Lanka to take up rugby union, and the first historic match between these schools was played on the 31st of July, 1920. This was made a yearly encounter, with Trinity College winning for the first 21 years, until the Royalists recorded their first victory in 1941. In 1945, the principal of Royal College, E.L. Bradby, put forward the idea of playing an annual two-match series, to which the principal of Trinity College, Mr C. E. Simithraaratchy, readily agreed. To ensure the success of the series, Principal Bradby offered a shield which was to be held for a period of one year by the winner of the series. The series has been played annually and uninterrupted ever since, and is considered as one of the oldest schools rugby fixtures in the world.
The coveted shield which was offered by the former Royal principal E.L. Bradby is a wooden disk decorated with intricate traditional Kandyan metalwork. The shield is handed over to the team with the highest aggregate from both legs. The players put their body on the line be it to defend or win back the shield. And only a Royalist or a Trinitian knows the value of the shield.
‘The Bradby’ is more than just a game; it’s a day of gathering for both the young and the old to share their stories and meet up with their old team mates and friends. The Bradby dinner dance too is a much awaited event, that takes place on game night.
Last year the first leg was held in Colombo (Royal College Sorts Complex) and the second leg was held in Kandy (Bogambara Stadium). Royal College won the 66th Bradby Shield encounter with a lead of 18 points. All of us are eagerly awaiting to who may the 67th Bradby Shield belong. Will the lions bring back the glory of winning the Shield to Kandy? Or will the elephants triumphant over the lions?
Overall Bradby Shield Record:
Total Matches Played: 131
Won By Trinity: 61
Won By Royal: 59
We will be broadcasting the Bradby Shield 1st Leg Live next Saturday the 11th of June 2011 from 4.30 p.m. onwards on trinitylk.com. Click Here to visit the live match stream page.
Trinity Rugby Gallery:
Article Prepared By – Yashwanth Dahanayake
Article Sources – www.wikipedia.org, www.ariona.com.au/magazine
Published 6 years ago