Bradby Shield Encounter

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The Bradby Shield
The Bradby Shield.jpg
The Bradby Shield
SportRugby Union
Timeline19451 – present
Tournament formatAnnual two-legged encounter
ParticipantsRoyal College
Trinity College
Current championRoyal College (2019)
Most successfulTrinity: 39 wins
Royal: 34 wins
Biggest winning marginRoyal: 83 - 0 (2002)
Trinity: 70 - 31 (2012)
Most consecutive winsTrinity: 6 wins (1952 - 1957)
Royal: 4 wins (2001 - 2004)
Trinity: 4 wins (2011 - 2014)

The Bradby Shield Encounter - commonly known as "The Bradby" - is the pinnacle of Sri Lanka's school rugby union season. It is played annually between two of the most prominent boys’ schools in the country and traditional rivals Royal College, Colombo, and Trinity College, Kandy. The encounter consists of two legs, one being played in the Royal College Sports Complex in Colombo, and the other in Trinity College Rugby Stadium in Pallekele. The winner is decided on the aggregate of the scores from these two matches, usually played a few weeks apart. The Bradby is generally played in late May or early June and is the most watched rugby match in the country, drawing more spectators than either inter-club or international fixtures. It is also an important social event of the Sri Lanka's elite drawing over 20,000 spectators and watched live on television by millions more.[1]

History[edit]

Royal College and Trinity College were among the first elite schools in Sri Lanka to take up the sport of 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, Edward Lawrence Bradby,[2] offered a Shield 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, which would be awarded to the College that scored the highest aggregate of points scored in the 2 Legs of the match, one in Colombo and the other in Kandy, as had been started in 1943.

The series has been played annually ever since other than in 1971, where only the 1st leg was played due to 1971 JVP insurrection with The Shield being presented to Royal College on the result of the 1st leg. In 2020 and 2021, the series was called off due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shield[edit]

The Shield, designed and made by Kandyan silversmiths was donated by Principal E.L. Bradby on his departure from Ceylon in 1945. It is a wooden disk decorated with intricate traditional Kandyan silver works.

On winning the series, the shield is presented to the winning team's captain at an award ceremony held on the playing field immediately following the end of the second leg. The winning team is then privileged to hand the shield over to their school, where it is kept on display until next year, where it will again be up for grabs.

Venue[edit]

One leg of the Bradby Shield Encounter is played in Colombo and the other in Kandy. The venue for the game in Colombo had been Sugathadasa Stadium until matches were transferred to the Royal College Rugby Ground in the early 2000s. The Kandy venue was the Bogambara Stadium, but the second leg of the 68th Bradby in 2012 was played in Trinity's home ground; Pallekelle Stadium

Pre Bradby Shield Matches - 1920-1944[edit]

Year Venue Royal Trinity
1920 Thurstan Road, Colombo 00 26
1921 No Match
1922 Bogambara, Kandy 00 34
1923 Reid Avenue, Colombo 00 17
1924 Bogambara, Kandy 03 37
1925 Thurstan Road, Colombo 00 46
1926 No Match
1927 No Match
1928 Reid Avenue, Colombo 06 23
1929 No Match
1930 Bogambara, Kandy 00 29
1931 Longden Place, Colombo 00 27
1932 Bogambara, Kandy 00 09
1933 Reid Avenue, Colombo 00 19
1934 No Match
1935 Reid Avenue, Colombo 00 19
1936 Bogambara, Kandy 03 11
1937 Reid Avenue, Colombo 00 16
1938 Bogambara, Kandy 13 14
1939 Reid Avenue, Colombo 03 14
1940 Bogambara, Kandy 03 09
1941 Reid Avenue, Colombo 11 03
1942 Bogambara, Kandy 00 22
1943 Police Grounds, Colombo 06 00
1943 Bogambara, Kandy 05 03
1944 Thurstan Road, Colombo 00 15
1944 Bogambara, Kandy 00 17

The Bradby Shield - Past Winners[edit]

Summary of Results[edit]

Period Bradby Shield Encounters Matches
Played Royal Trinity Tied Played Royal Trinity Drawn
1945-1954 10 03 07 00 20 06 11 03
1955-1964 10 04 06 00 20 08 09 03
1965-1974 10 04 06 00 19 06 11 02
1975-1984 10 06 04 00 20 11 07 02
1985-1994 10 05 04 01 20 10 07 03
1995-2004 10 05 05 00 20 11 09 00
2005-2014 10 03 07 00 20 09 11 00
2015-2021 05 04 00 01 10 08 02 00
Total 75 34 39 02 149 70 66 13

1945-1954[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
1945 03 00 00 06 Trinity
1946 00 00 00 08 Trinity
1947 00 00 00 06 Trinity
1948 06 05 08 06 Royal
1949 05 03 08 08 Royal
1950 03 06 03 05 Trinity
1951 19 03 13 05 Royal
1952 00 12 00 12 Trinity
1953 00 13 03 13 Trinity
1954 00 05 05 06 Trinity


1955-1964[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
1955 00 00 00 06 Trinity
1956 00 15 00 11 Trinity
1957 03 08 08 09 Trinity
1958 06 00 00 00 Royal
1959 05 00 06 00 Royal
1960 03 05 00 08 Trinity
1961 06 03 08 00 Royal
1962 05 00 00 09 Trinity
1963 06 06 00 05 Trinity
1964 03 00 14 06 Royal

1965-1974[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
1965 08 03 03 03 Royal
1966 03 03 03 08 Trinity
1967 03 07 03 08 Trinity
1968 19 00 05 03 Royal
1969 00 08 03 09 Trinity
1970 03 19 12 16 Trinity
1971 22 03 No 2nd Leg Royal
1972 09 08 03 10 Trinity
1973 18 04 04 12 Royal
1974 03 18 09 12 Trinity

1975-1984[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
1975 13 11 21 03 Royal
1976 36 00 25 06 Royal
1977 06 12 04 10 Trinity
1978 00 00 08 04 Royal
1979 03 04 18 00 Royal
1980 07 03 16 03 Royal
1981 03 16 10 03 Trinity
1982 06 09 04 06 Trinity
1983 06 14 10 06 Trinity
1984 06 03 00 00 Royal

1985-1994[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
1985 09 18 04 03 Trinity
1986 03 06 03 07 Trinity
1987 03 07 03 19 Trinity
1988 24 00 13 00 Royal
1989 09 03 09 03 Royal
1990 23 08 06 00 Royal
1991 04 12 10 25 Trinity
1992 03 03 00 00 Tied
1993 03 00 10 03 Royal
1994 10 03 08 08 Royal

1995-2004[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
1995 03 06 06 22 Trinity
1996 03 30 03 12 Trinity
1997 06 14 18 11 Trinity
1998 18 20 42 11 Royal
1999 10 19 07 13 Trinity
2000 25 32 20 17 Trinity
2001 12 06 16 00 Royal
2002 39 00 44 00 Royal
2003 13 11 13 08 Royal
2004 41 06 10 00 Royal

2005-2014[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
2005 06 36 07 33 Trinity
2006 10 21 05 26 Trinity
2007 20 12 15 11 Royal
2008 12 24 08 00 Trinity
2009 23 12 31 15 Royal
2010 38 37 34 17 Royal
2011 33 25 05 40 Trinity
2012 11 34 20 36 Trinity
2013 25 37 13 09 Trinity
2014 16 28 18 19 Trinity

2015-2021[edit]

Year 1st Leg 2nd Leg Winners
RC TC RC TC
2015 23 22 49 00 Royal
2016 22 17 13 18 Tied
2017 22 17 13 08 Royal
2018 39 07 27 19 Royal
2019 34 17 13 24 Royal
2020 No encounter due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 No encounter due to COVID-19 pandemic

Notable persons who have played[edit]

[3]

Related Community Programmes[edit]

The Souvenir[edit]

Since 1977, the Interact Club of Royal College publishes the "Bradby Shield Souvenir" to mark the Colombo leg of the match.[4]

Bradby Express[edit]

The Bradby Express was the name given to the normal Intercit Express train service provided by the Sri Lanka Railways which was filled with students and old boys from both schools heading for the Kandy leg of the encounter - hence the name the Bradby Express. Originating from the 1950s it was continued annually until the mid-1980s when it was stopped due to security concerns with the escalation of the Sri Lankan Civil War and the Insurrection 1987-89.

The Royal College Group of 2007 booked a private train, and named it The Bradby Express for the Royalists traveling up for the encounter. The current train is not the traditional Bradby Express in that it is neither the normal intercity train, nor does it cater to an equal number of passengers from both colleges, as did the old train.[5]

Trivia[edit]

  • In 75 Contests so far, Trinity leads the series having won the shield on no less than 39 occasions. Royal have won the shield on 34 occasions. Both Bradby encounters in 1992 ended in draws, 0-0 in Kandy and 3-3 in Colombo, while the 2016 Bradby encounter became the second after 1992 to be drawn.
  • The highest sequence of wins in the series is 6; by Trinity, between 1952-1957. Royal won the shield 4 years back to back from 2001-2004. Trinity was on 4 year winning streak, having won in 2011-2014 which ended when the Royalists broke the streak in 2015 with a record single game margin of 49-0 in the second leg.
  • Only 1 encounter was played between the schools in 1971 due to security reasons. The Shield was presented to Royal College on the result of the 1st leg, at an assembly by the then principal of Trinity College; Mr E.L.Fernando.
  • In 1983, the Principal and Mrs. E. L. Bradby visited Sri Lanka as the guests of The Royal College Union for the Second Leg match - this was the centenary Rugby Football match between Royal and Trinity.
  • The record for the largest margin of victory was set in 2002 by Royal College, winning on an aggregate of 83-00.
  • The 2008 second Leg encounter in Kandy was the 150th match between Royal and Trinity.
  • In 2010, an aggregate of 126 points was scored by both teams (Royal 72 - Trinity 54) which is a series record.
  • The 2019 encounter will be the 75th anniversary encounter in the series. The matches were postponed several times in the aftermath of the Easter bombing incident and will be played under tight security in TCK-Pallekelle and RC-Sport Complex.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Passion for Rugby in an Unexpected Place, The New York Times
  2. ^ "Sacred to the memory of Principal E". Rootsweb.com. 1941-12-07. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  3. ^ "DI-P11-08-09-(P)-KUR.qxd" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  4. ^ "Interact Club of Royal College".
  5. ^ "The Bradby express". Sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2010-09-07.

External links[edit]