Spot-on Misikhu book KSSSA finals date with St. Josephs
Girls’ hockey defending champions Sinyolo endured a 2-1 penalty flicks heartbreak as St. Cecilia Misikhu produced one of the upsets of the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Term 1A Games on Friday.
The two sides remained deadlocked on 1-1 after regular time, forcing the tie to be decided on post-match penalties and it was Misikhu that held their nerve to sail through to the finals.
The country will witness the crowning of a new national champion on Saturday when Misikhu face St. Josephs of Kitale who defeated Moi Girls in the other semi.
Sinyolo, the two-time national champions who had sauntered into the knockout phase after winning all three of their pool A matches were put in the driving seat early on when Stephanie Rebecca opened their scoring.
That lead lasted barely a minute as Agnes Machuma fired the leveler for Misikhu, guiding a neat effort into the back of the net from close range.
The two sides headed to the break deadlocked on 1-1 and neither could fashion another goal after the restart in a second half highlighted by a defensive master class from Misikhu.
Their compact backline kept the in-form trio of Leoccadiah Stacey, Maureen Awiti and her sister Alice who had been virtually unstoppable during the group phases.
With her side sticking inside their own third, Machuma was allowed the freedom to roam behind the opposition defense and showed flashes of her brilliant passing range and incisive play.
As the referee blew the final whistle, Sinyolo seemingly crumbled under their own pressure with four of their five flicks kept out.
Lydiah Adhiambo’s flick was the only one that squeezed past the Misikhu keeper as Eleanor Chebet and Machuma scored to ensure their side advanced.
Misikhu Head Coach Silas Mango hailed his charges after the nervy win.
“I feel great and am happy for the girls. We were aware that this would have been a difficult match and that’s why we prepared sufficiently prior to the match to ensure that we emerged victorious,” he said.
The boys’ basketball finals will be a Hills affair with Upper Hill and Laiser Hill set to face off after winning their respective semis matches against Nyeri Baptist and Kisumu boys.
Kaya Tiwi will defend the title they won last year when they face a resilient St Brigids who came from behind to down Tigoi 52-47.
In Boys Hockey St Anthony’s sailed through to the finals in remarkable fashion after beating Kisumu Day 5-0.
Newcomers Dr Ribiero’s fairytale run was cut short by Upper Hill who inflicted a painful 2-1 defeat coach Eric Nyamweya-coached side.
Upper Hill will test their might against St Anthony’s.
Kakamega got back to winning ways with a narrow 5-0 win over Upper Hill and will be on a revenge mission against Laiser Hill who defeated St. Mary’s Yala 34- 16 in the other semi.
The tournament is sponsored by dairy processing giants Brookside.
-Report by Mwangi Githinji.
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