Warriors drop points as league battle gets tougher


Warriors drop points as league battle gets tougher
Kenneth Nyongesa of Butali Sugar Warriors challenges Jus Baraka of USIU-A contest for ball during their Kenya Hockey Union men's league match at City Park hockey stadium in Nairobi on May 11, 2019. Photo/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • Champions Butali Sugar Warriors dropped points for the first time this season as they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League.
  • Although the champions still sit top of the top-tier league with 10 points after four matches, they risk losing the top spot to the in-form Wazalendo who are second with nine points and still have a game in hand.

Champions Butali Sugar Warriors dropped points for the first time this season as they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League.

Although the champions still sit top of the top-tier league with 10 points after four matches, they risk losing the top spot to the in-form Wazalendo who are second with nine points and still have a game in hand.

Warriors had to fight back  to earn a point and maintain an unbeaten record in the league with three wins and a draw summing up their opening four matches, a prospect head coach Dennis Owoka is contented with.

“I think we did respond well after going down to a good side in USIU.  We conceded early and as we pushed for goals that’s how they hit us. However a point is not a bad result for us,” Owoka told Citizen Digital.

Owoka is however wary that this season’s title race is stiffer with close to six teams signaling their intent to wrestling the title from them.

“Unlike last season where the race was between us and Police, this season is more difficult; we see teams like Wazalendo, (Western) Jaguars and Sharks (Greensharks) have entered into the race and thus there is no margin of error if we are to retain our title,” observed Owoka.

Warriors will have close to a month to rest as their next match is against Nairobi Simba on June 19.

Meanwhile, former champions Kenya Police continued their resurgence after a sluggish start to the season when they edged a stubborn Greensharks 5-2 at the City Park on Sunday.

The free-scoring Police are now fifth on the log with seven points after registering back-to-back wins since going down 2-1 to Warriors on April 20.

Prior to yesterday’s match, the 2017 champions had dismantled Western Jaguars 5-3 in Kakamega, a week ago.

Despite scoring a whooping 10 goals in their past two matches, the law enforcers have conceded five in the process, a trend that head coach Patrick Mugambi is concerned fine.

“We are happy, we are playing well and scoring goals but we are conceding a lot and it is something we are going to work on before our next match,” said Mugambi.

The tactician also revealed that his charges are now finding their way back after a slow start to the new season that saw them pick a point from their opening two matches.

“I think my boys are now returning to form after a long holiday and I can assure you that we will only get better as the season unfolds,” added Mugambi.

In the women league, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Techonology (JKUAT) are yet to register a win in four matches despite holding Amira Sailors to a barren draw on Sunday.

Elsewhere, USIU-women moved to the second spot with six points after edging Sailors by a solitary goal on Saturday to move within a point of leaders Telkom.

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