Kamusinga, Kimilili reclaim handball titles at School Games
- Moi Girls Kamusinga are the new National Secondary Schools Association champions following their 18-16 win over holders Sega Girls of Nyanza Region at Kangaru School in Embu
- In the Boys' category Kimilili held off Kanyawanga 29-20 to reclaim their title as curtains fell on the week-long competition on Saturday
Moi Girls Kamusinga are the new National Secondary Schools Association handball champions following their 18-16 win over holders Sega Girls of Nyanza Region at Kangaru School in Embu.
In the Boys’ category Kimilili held off Kanyawanga 29-20 to reclaim their title as curtains fell on the week-long competition on Saturday.
In basketball, coastal region giants Kaya Tiwi who were subject to age-cheating allegations defeated Butere Girls 36-31 to retain their crown while Laiser Hill overcame Sigalame High 65-50.
Ambira High defeated Meru School 71-61 in the boys’ third-place playoffs to secure the last remaining boys’ basketball ticket to the East African Games scheduled for August in Rwanda.
In rugby 15s, Upper Hill edged Menengai 15-12 in extra time to win the 2018 title.
It was a flying start by Menengai who scored two penalty kicks through Solomon Maleu Mutunga in the opening 15 minutes to open a 6-0 lead.
Upperhill hit back almost instantly after the second penalty by scoring a try through John Junior and although they missed the resultant conversion, they regained momentum in the game.
Menengai were well drilled in defense and thwarted Upperhill’s spirited attack in the dying minutes of the first half.
In the second half Menengai hit two quick penalties through the impressive Solomon Maleu Mutunga, the usual route that had that far in the game proven successful. Minutes later Bonventure Wasonga touched down in Menengai’s half to tie the scores at 12 all.
The game ended a draw in regular time, and need extra time to settle the tie. Remarkable defensive skills from both teams ensured the game went to the wire and Upperhill’s Wasilwa Luka grabbed the winner by scoring a drop goal in the dying seconds of the added time.
It was all cheers and hugs in the UpperHill camp as they celebrated a milestone of winning rugby 15s championship for the first time in their history.
On the other side, it was all sobs in the Menengai camp, as dejected players buried their heads on their hands, in disbelief of how close they had come to laying their hands on the coveted trophy.
Upperhill coach Thomas Walgwe was all smiles after acclimatizing with what his boys had just achieved.
“I am so happy for them. They have come a long way since September last year, and we have done it. We are national champions for the first time in the history of this great school. Unbelievable.” Walgwe said.
Menengai Coach Kenneth Njagi was impressed by his boy’s performance, and promised to put on even a better show in the East African games later this year.
“Its unfortunate we have lost the final, but there must be one winner and for this year it’s Upperhill. It was an even game, and we am sure both teams will do well in the East African Games. The boy are really hurt but we must dust ourselves and start again. I promise you fireworks in Rwanda.” Njagi assessed.
Earlier in the play offs, defending champions Kakamega defeated St. Mary’s Yala 16-3 to finish third.
The two finalists plus third placed Kakamega High will participate in the East African games in August this year.
Laiser had started the match slowly losing the first two quarters by 12-11 and 17-8 to Sigalame but got momentum after half time and won the last two quarters 20-12 and 25-8 to wrap up the game 65-50.
The most valuable player was Laiser hill’s Mariel Malek with 27 points against Sigalames Isaac Wafula with 19 pointers with two three pointers.
Champions head coach Antony Kirimi hailed his team’s performance saying it was a tough game.
“Our opponents started on high which made me change the game plan and in the third quarter we played technical game after we discovered Sigalame was scoring from outside the box.”
“I made three subtitutions to bring three big boys who played as guards to force our opponents play in the lane.” he added.
Laiser will fly the Kenyan flag in Rwanda come August and the coach is adamant his team will bring back the trophy in the country.
” This year’s team is stronger than last year’s team and we have a wide bench which will give us an opportunity to win the title.”
On his part Sigalame head coach Joseph Were said inexperience costed them the game.
“Now we will go back to training and plan for East Africa Secondary School Games where we will correct our mistakes.”
Ambira high finished third after they defeated Meru School 71-61.
-Report by Kennerickson Njeru and Alex Kinyua
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