KCB Edge Out Mwamba In Tight Contest

By francis marangu
Jan 18, 2014
  • KCB Oliver Mang'eni competes for the ball with Mwamba Joseph Oriwo.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Experience counted heavily as Kenya Commercial Bank narrowly beat Mwamba RFC 24-22 in a Kenya Cup match played on Saturday at the University of Nairobi ground.

Mwamba were unlucky to have lost the tie having led twice including a 8-7 halftime advantage. The absence of key players who are away with the national sevens team was evident as Kulabu surrendered all points with only four minutes of play left. Lavin Asego was the only senior player on the field for Mwamba.

“This is one of the matches where experience is necessary. The young lads have tried hard and this battle will go to the wire for us,” said Mwamba head coach Meli Tuni after the match.

Anthony Ogot crossed the line for KCB in the 5th minute and Fabian Olando converted for a 7-0 lead. Olando could have extended the lead but missed an 18th minute penalty following infringement by Mwamba players. A minute later, Ben Otieno capitalized on a defensive lapse to reply for Mwamba with an unconverted try.

Mwamba pressed on with constant attacks as they began to gain confidence of a home team and this forced Curstis Olago, the KCB coach to make an early substitution in the 28th minute. Peter Mutai came in for Felix Wanjala at scrum half. “Wanjala was not on form for this match and l could judge that from the first fifteen minutes. The substitution worked,” said Olago.

One-point advantage

Two minutes to the breather, Asego kicked over a penalty to give Mwamba a one point advantage. Four minutes after the restart, KCB staged a coup on the scoreboard courtesy of a Benjamin Ojema unconverted try for the lead to change hands 12-8.

Veteran Dennis Mwanja came off the bench to score the team’s third try in the 51st minute as the bankers took control of the proceedings. Mutai converted. Before KCB could settle back into the match, Mwamba struck after three minutes through Peter Kepher who followed up a Brian Kivasya kick to touch down between the sticks. Kivasya converted to cut down KCB’s lead to 15-19.

Two minutes later, Kivasya was on the receiving end missing a crucial penalty that could have upped their stakes in the highly competitive match. In the 67th minute, Mark Okwaro received a good pass from Asego to touch down with Kivasya converting as Mwamba regained the lead at 22-19.

They managed to sustain pressure from the bankers who fought hard for the bonus point try. Allan Omuka answered their prayer touching down four minutes to full time with an unconverted try. KCB’s next game is at home against Strathmore University. “A good win today, a good bonus point,” Olago said.

Strathmore upset Quins

Strathmore University warmed up for this match by beating Kenya Harlequin FC 20-10 at their Madaraka ground. Tony Onyango and Ginton Adongo scored a try each for the students with Kenny Andola kicking over two penalties and two conversions. Sidney Ashioya and Brian Maina a try each for Quins.

Leaders Nakuru RFC dropped their first bonus point of the season with a 19-8 win over Nondescripts RUEF at Nakuru Athletic Club. Mean Machine tilted the relegation battle with a 25-8 win over Mombasa Sports Club while Impala RFC continued with their resurgence by beating Blak Blad 22-14.

Visiting Western Bulls had little respect for hosts Kisumu RFC winning 51-3 in their “Western derby” played at the Kisumu Polytechnic. Homeboyz RFC was another beneficiary of away points with a convincing 84-6 win at Eldoret RFC.

Results

Kenya Cup: Mombasa SC 8 Mean Machine 25, Kisumu RFC 3 Western Bulls 51, Blak Blad 14 Impala RFC 22, Nakuru RFC 19 Nondescripts RUFC 8, Strathmore University 20 Kenya Harlequin FC 10, Mwamba RFC 22 KCB 24, Eldoret 6 Homeboyz 84.

Eric Shirley Shield: Mwamba II 10 KCB II 29, Strathmore II 22 Quins II 18, Kisumu II 0 Western Bulls II 55, Nakuru II 34 Nondies II 5, Mombasa II 24 Machine II 0, Blak Blad II 0 Impala II 19, Eldoret II 3 Homeboyz II 52.