Royal retain Bradby in hard fought game
Royal 13
Trinity 8
By M. Shamil Amit
Royal playing cool headed rugby outplayed their traditional rivals Trinity by 13 points (1 goal, 2 penalties) to 8 (1 try, 1 penalty) in the second leg of the 59th Bradby Shield encounter played at the Royal College Sports Complex grounds yesterday to retain the coveted shield for the third successive year. At the breather the Royalists led 6-0.

Royal won the first leg played at Bogambara-Kandy 13-11 and the overall tally after the completion of the second leg was 26-19 in favour of the Reid Avenue boys giving them the 26th win of the series.Though the Royalists were favoured to win the battle, they had to fight hard and pull out all available resources to pull off the game. The Trinitians made serious blunders in their over-enthusiasm easing the pressure they were regularly applying on the fancied Royalists.Ball- handling by the Lions (Trinity) left much to be desired,but credit cannot be taken away from the winners who played to a set plan in unsettling their opponents. In the first half with the game being played at red-hot pace it was Royal's now reliable full back Shihab Bahudeen (who was responsible in scoring all the 17 points against the Thomians last week) who opened scoring again with a tenth minute penalty.

With a kick and run game unfolding the Royalists were awarded a penalty for an infringment in the 30 metre line in the 25th minute and Bahudeen made no mistake with his kick giving Royal a 6-nil lead. The Royalist though being in their opponents territory for most of the first-half time were unable to penetrate due to the fierce tackling. Resuming in the second half, the Royalists continued with some attacking rubgy. In the fourth minute scrum half Nirmal Siriwardena slipped past on the blind-side through a gap, covered a good 30-metres and went over for a try that left the Trinitians in shatters.

Full back Bahudeen's kick at goal from a difficult angle was perfect giving the home-team a 13-nil lead in the match and a 15-nil lead for the Bradby.. Two minutes later, however, Trinity had a chance of reducing the lead when Trinity's usually reliable kicker fullback Saliya Kumara fluffed a relatively easy penalty kick.Trinity began throwing everything by mid-way of the second half. With no quarter asked nor given, some high-class rugby was to be witnessed at this stage.Trinity was rewarded for their drive when the Royalists began floundering under pressure. Full back Saliya Kumara made no mistake with a penalty offered in the 19th minute to Trinity.

A few minutes thereafter, Saliya Kumara all but scored a try as the Royalists were throwing everything in defending their goal-line. A second effort by him to go past the Royal defence however ended somewhat tragically. Keeping his head low, Saliya Kumara tried to slip through the tackles when he hit his head on a Royal defender's knee leaving him concussed and taken off the field on a stretcher.

The Trinitians playing with more cohesion towards the end stages succeeded in making holes in Royal defences which eventually caved in the 28th minute of play to a corner-flag try by winger Nirosha Sanjeewa which went unconverted.The margin was reduced to 13-8. In the final moments, the Royalists, famous this season for their last minute thrusts made a deep incursion into Trinity territory. As the Trinitians began retreating, they conceded a penalty 10-metres and slap-bang in front of their posts.

The Royalists opted for the short-tap and fumbled with the ball on the goal-line. With that aborted move came the long-whistle to end yet another enthralling Bradby Shield encounter before an estimated 8,000 crowd.

Referee: A. Rankothge.

Trinity won the Under-17 game 22/5 and having won their clash in Kandy 11/5 were awarded the Sumithrarachchi Trophy.

Randhawa wins Kashmir Open while Rohana succumb to injury
Srinagar, July 26 India: Promising Sri Lankan Anura Rohana, who started the day at seven-under 209 was troubled by a shoulder pain and had a disastrous round of 79 in the 18-lakh Kashmir Open 2003, to finish level-par for the tournament. Meanwhile Jyoti Randhawa, the star attraction of the Kashmir Open, did not disappoint his fans and produced a brilliant bogey-free round of five-under 67 on the final day to win his first title in more than two year's time.

In the season-opening event of the Hero Honda Indian Golf tour, played at the picturesque par-72 Royal Springs Golf Course here, Randhawa aggregated 13-under 275, one stroke better than Harmeet Kahlon and Arjun Singh, who were tied for the second place at 12-under 276. Pappan, the surprise package of the tournament fought till the very end till a double bogey on the final hole pushed him down to fourth place at 10-under 278. The victory was worth Rs. 2,91,600 for Randhawa while Kahlon and Arjun received Rs.1,57,500 each.

Defending champion Digvijay Singh finished fifth at 279, while Indian's No. 1 player Mukesh Kumar and Uttam Singh Mundy were tied sixth at eight-under 280.

It was Randhawa's first win since April 2001 when he won the SRF Open at the Delhi Golf Club. "This is extremely satisfying and I am happy to break the winless streak. This is the perfect antidote to the disappointment of missing the cut at the British Open. What makes me happy is the way I conducted myself at the course. I was calm and composed throughout the 18 holes and did not make mistakes. And on top of it, the win came at my favourite golf course," said a jubilant Randhawa who leaves for Japan on Sunday night.

Randhawa played a steady round and a birdie on the fourth made him the joint leader. However, it was his favourite par-five seventh hole, which added the zip to his round. A peach of a seven-iron second shot from the rough left him with a three-foot eagle putt, which he converted with ease. Thereafter, he made birdies on the tenth and sank an all-important 25-footer putt for his final birdie on the par-four 15th. At this stage, Arjun Singh was breathing down his neck. He was just one stroke off Randhawa and sitting on a sure shot four-feet birdie putt.

RESULTS (After 72 holes): 275 Jyoti Randhawa (67, 71, 70, 67); 276 Harmeet Kahlon (74, 66, 70, 66); Arjun Singh (67, 68, 73, 68); 278 Pappan (68, 70, 69, 71); 279 Digvijay Singh (70, 70, 67, 72); 280 Uttam Singh Mundy (69, 70, 72, 69); Mukesh Kumar (69, 69, 69, 73); 286 Rahil Gangjee (73, 68, 74, 71); 287 Rafiq Ali(75, 72, 72, 68); 288 Anura Rohana (72, 71, 66, 79); 289 Naman Dawar (74, 78, 68, 69). Amateurs: 291 Girish Virk (73, 71, 74, 73); 292 Keshav Misra(74, 77, 74, 67), Sujan Singh (71, 75, 76,70).

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