The Kenya Hockey League took a break this past weekend, as all teams trooped to Nakuru for the annual Betty Tiony Tournament. Well, at least this was the expectation. The turnout was uncharacteristically low, with the ladies teams only fielding four teams- two of which were fielded by Telkom (formerly Telkom-Orange).
The results of the tournament were terribly predictable as Kenya Police took first place in the men’s category and Telkom took first and second place among the ladies. Telkom’s Ofula was also the top scorer. It would also seem that the ladies also took this tournament as an opportunity to unveil their new team colors, donning on the blue and yellow that is now part of the brand transition. Speaking of brands, it seems the woes of the other major brands sponsoring the league are persistent despite the brand owners seemingly being in the clear. For instance, both the Chase Sailors and the Chase Amira were unrepresented at the Tiony Tourney, with the latter especially feeling the brunt after having been first runner up last year. The former ladies champions for this tournament, Strathmore Scorpions, were also missing in action.
Multiple teams that have traditionally been known to never miss out on the opportunity for a dash outside town remained cooped up in the city. USIU-A cited their Wazee-Vijana derby, while the absences of the other teams can only be attributed to financial difficulties. Which brings up many questions: are the tournaments too costly for teams to handle? Is the pace of the current double-leg league too fast for the teams?
Away from that, we may have an opportunity to recover some of the action that was obviously lacking on the away trip. While the weekend does not promise to be particularly exciting, encounters between the Parkroad Badgers and Wazalendo, the largely unstructured but determined Kenyatta University and the overly aggressive Greensharks, and Sunday’s Wazalendo vs Nairobi Simba, may offer some reprieve.
We could promise you an action packed weekend, but we want to go to heaven…eventually. Have a fruitful week.