Week seven of the 2018 Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) league went down the past weekend, with some teams picking up points that might propel them to a good season while others suffered upsetting defeats. Here is a look at the results from all five leagues.
Premier League Men
As the 2018 season slowly unfolds, the Men’s Premier League seems to get more interesting on both ends of the table standings as all clubs begin the fight for the league title in earnest.
The quest for top position currently appears to be a three-sided affair, with Greensharks, Butali Warriors and Kenya Police keeping close tabs amongst them at the summit while creating a visible gap between them and other teams. Greensharks dislodged Police at the top of the table after a 3-0 win over Nakuru Hockey Club on Sunday at the City Park Stadium.
‘Sharks’, who had complete control of their opponents in the entire game, could have salvaged a better result were it not for their wastefulness but goals by Ben Ochieng, Kevin Simiyu and Victor Osiche proved sufficient to earn them all three points.
The win was well appreciated by head coach Ben Owaga, who termed it crucial for their season’s ambitions. “I would like to congratulate my players for the win because it is very crucial given the level of competition currently being witnessed in the league. We hope to maintain the same momentum for upcoming games and I’m sure we’ll do great things,’’ said Owaga.
Butali Warriors on their part moved to a point below Greensharks after thumping Parklands Sports Club 4-0 at the same venue. George Mutira grabbed a hat-trick to supplement Derrick Kulobas’s 10th minute goal.
The result ensured the sugar millers leapfrog Kenya Police, who were not in action, to second place. Butali Warriors are arguably the most in-form side in the men’s Premier League, having recorded five wins in all the five games where they have scored a total of 18 goals, conceded only one and kept four clean sheets.
Western Jaguars’ lethargy start to the season extended despite having home advantage in the two games they played over the weekend. The ‘Jaguars’ were held to a 1-1 draw by Strathmore University on Saturday before losing 0-1 to United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) on Sunday a day later in Kakamega. They consequently remain winless but move up one place to eleventh while Nakuru drop to last position.
Nakuru are also winless so far and coach Tony Agesa attributed the loss to Greensharks to several factors. “We have lost again but I can’t say that it was our worst performance, so I’m sure we will bounce back very soon,’’ said Agesa.
“I blame the loss to several factors, one being the unavailability of some of our key players. As you know, Nakuru is a self-sponsored club and sometimes players lack logistics to honour matches and this weekend we had to lose some players for that reason. Training has also been difficult for us because it is really raining heavily which makes it difficult, but I wouldn’t want to use that as an excuse because I’m sure other teams are also experiencing the same problem,’’ added on Agesa.
Premier League Women
In the only women’s Premier League match played this weekend, Strathmore University (Scorpions) condemned Sliders to a second successive loss, beating them 3-1 on Saturday evening at the City Park Stadium.
Lynn Wendy Ayuma, who scored a brace in their last outing against USIU-A, continued with her scoring spree by opening account for her side with a field goal in the 32nd minute. Doris Kirui equalized for Sliders shortly after but Gilly Okumu’s twin goals in the last ten minutes secured the victory for the students.
The ‘Scorpions’ now move top of the women’s Premier League standings with twelve points from four games, three ahead of defending champions Telkom who have played a game less.
Sliders meanwhile remain third with three points.
Super League Men
Wazalendo Masters moved to within the top 3 of the men’s Super League standings following a 5-3 victory over Kisumu Youngstars on Sunday at the City Park Stadium.
Grabbing the very first hat-trick of the league was Bernard Kubasu, who scored three goals to inspire the win, with James Were and Willy Mbeda also on target for the Masters.
Derrick Jabali, Arnold Abedi and Brian Otieno tried to orchestrate a comeback but their goals were not sufficient to rescue even a single point for the visitors. This was the second unpersuasive result for the Kisumu-based side following a goal-less draw with Dedan Kimathi University on Saturday at the same venue.
Dedan Kimathi coach Ndungú Njogu was not impressed by the draw against Youngstars, blaming it on the wastefulness of his forwards and promised to work on that problem. “We dropped two important points that we ought to have taken. We had better chances but we just couldn’t reward ourselves, compared to them who had fewer chances but looked more dangerous. So we will definitely have to sharpen our goal scoring skills,” said Njogu.
“On the positives, we managed to keep a clean sheet which is good and we also looked very composed from the back to the offensive,’’ added on Njogu.
Mvita XI meanwhile begun their league campaign on a high note by flooring Technical University of Kenya (TUK) 3-0 in Mombasa.
Super League Women
Newcomers, Lakers registered mixed results in their trip to Nairobi, first beating Wolverines 1-0 on Saturday at the City Park Stadium before losing to University of Nairobi (UoN) by the same margin on Sunday morning at the same venue.
Rachael Laura netted the only goal against Wolverines which earned them all three points. Lakers however registered their first loss of the season to UoN on Sunday, with Cate Agunda scoring for the students.
UoN now move to second position, one point below leaders Kenyatta University (KU) who have eight points while Lakers occupy the third position with six points. Wolverines, still winless, are sixth overall.
National League Men
In the National League Men, Karate Axiom suffered a 2-3 defeat by Thika Rovers on Saturday before being held to a 1-1 draw by Parkroad Tigers on Sunday. JKUAT meanwhile beat Daystar University 2-0 early Sunday morning while University of Eldoret (UoE) went down 3-2 to Bungoma Farmers in their Eldoret.
Stats courtesy of HockeyKE