Kenya Police, Warriors resume hockey title race


Butali Sugar Warriors players celebrate scoring against Green Sharks during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier ...
Butali Sugar Warriors players celebrate scoring against Green Sharks during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League semi-final playoff match at City Park Hockey Stadium on November 27, 2016. Butali Sugar Warriors won 2-1. Photo/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • An action packed weekend beckons in the Kenya Hockey Union premier league with leaders Kenya Police and second placed Butali Sugar Warriors which are both still alive in the title race in action on Sunday
  • The defending champions leapfrogged Butali to go top after their controversial 16-2 win result over Wazalendo was upheld to take their points tally to 57

An action packed weekend beckons in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) premier league with leaders Kenya Police and second placed Butali Sugar Warriors which are both still alive in the title race in action on Sunday.

The defending champions leapfrogged Butali to go top after their controversial 16-2 win result over Wazalendo was upheld to take their points tally to 57.

Warriors are three points adrift with two matches to spare for both teams including a potential title decider between the sides on the final day of the season.

As both teams head to their penultimate matches on Sunday, Police have a tough away fixture against Nakuru Club which is seeking to survive the chop while Butali entertain third-placed Strathmore University Gladiators at the City Park.

Police head coach Patrick Mugambi has rallied his troops to prepare for a tough challenge after struggling against the same side in the reverse fixture in which they managed a hard fought 2-1 win in April.

“We are fully aware that Nakuru will make life difficult for us especially since they are playing at their own backyard. Irrespective of that we are going to fight for the three points because that’s the minimum result we want at this stage of the season,” Mugambi told Citizen Digital.

After topping the table in the expense of Butali, Mugambi said the decision by the executive to award them the three points from their win against Wazalendo will further boost their bid to retain the title.

“It true we have been awarded the points that had been withheld and that is a morale booster for us as we look to defend our title,” said Mugambi.

Must win

On their part, Butali head in to a must win match against the Students knowing that a loss will put their title hopes in jeopardy since they trail the Law Enforcers by three points thus no margin for either a loss or a draw.

Butali head coach Dennis Owoka is banking on the Students poor defensive record in the league as they aim to clinch all the three points in order to keep their title chances alive.

“Strathmore is a very good side and yes we expect them to offer a stiff challenge on Sunday, but again they have been struggling defensively and that’s what we aim to capitalise on,” Owoka revealed.

For Strathmore, the tie will mark their last match of the campaign in which they are certain of finishing third irrespective of the result given are with 32 points ahead of both Greensharks and Wazalendo who are fourth and fifth respectively with 29 points.

Sharks have already wrapped up their campaign while Wazalendo has a game to go but even if Strathmore looses they need to win by more than 20 clear goals in order to dethrone the student from the third spot.

After their respective matches on Sunday, the two sides will thereafter on December 9 in the final match of the season which may also be the title-decider depending on the Sunday’s result.

In the only women’s league match, USIU-A will close their season with a match against Chase Amira, a match that will precede the Strathmore- Butali clash.

Fixtures

Sunday

Nakuru vs Kenya Police 4pm Nakuru

Strathmore University vs Butali 5pm City Park

Women

Chase Amira vs USIU 1pm City Park

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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