By Shamseer Jaleel
Both Royal College and defending Singer League Under-20 champions Isipathana College continued their unbeaten runs in the current league rugby competition after their first round matches. Isipathana, St. Joseph’s, Kingswood and St. Peter’s qualified from IA and from IB, Royal, Trinity, Science and St. Thomas will move forward in the cup segment for the second round.
Wesley will meet Dharmaraja while Katugastota Antonians will lock horns with C. W. W. Kannangara in the plate semifinals.
The Peterites had an easy outing in a one-sided horse race encounter winning 107-5. Joes continued their good form under Imran Salley beating Wesley 35-15. Up In Kandy, Science continued to retain their third position when they overcame a spirited Rajans outfit 50-32. The Thomians, who invested heavily in their rugby, managed to keep their spot in the cup competition with a close 30-17 win over the Antonians.
Isipathana continued their unbeaten run when they overcame Kingswood outfit 32-22, a match played under heavy rain and semi darkness at the Bogambara Stadium. Though the conditions were tough, ball handling by both teams were in peak, hardly dropping any passes. Isipathana skipper Omalka Gunaratne was outstanding both in attack as well in defense.
The match of the week was played at Pallekelle between Trinity and Royal who battled it out in their first leg of the 71st Bradby Shield encounter. Royal beat Trinity by one point (23-22) in one of the best rugby encounters seen for a long time. Royal too continued their unbeaten run with some powerful forward play.
Both teams will lock horns in the second leg of the Bradby on 23 May at the Royal Sports Complex. For Royal, number eight Warunakulasuriya and winger Shabith Feroze were outstanding. For the Lions, skipper Isuru Rangala, flanker Ruckshan Dhammapala and Rahul Karunathilake played their hearts out.
Once the school league is over, the top eight teams will lock horns in the Milo School Knockout Trophy and the Rugby Asiad will take place in September this year.