• St.Anthony and Kapkolei Girls clinch hockey titles

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Apr 16, 2011-

Debutants Kapkolei Girls from Rift Valley defied the bookmakers as they staged a memorable upset in the girls’ national hockey gold medal match.

The little-known school in the circles of hockey is now the new champion after a 26th minute Lilian Cherop goal edged out trophy holders Kerugoya Girls.

With last year’s champions Mangu High falling at the provincial level, St. Anthony defeated Friends School Kamusinga 2-1 to lift the boys’ trophy for the first time since 2009.

Before the match got underway, Cherop knelt down and said a silent prayer. A prayer “…for a good match and if they were to lose, then let it be by a small margin…”

In their group match against the regional champions, Kapkolei were drubbed 4-1 so, Cherop’s entreaty was apt. Despite their underdogs’ status, the Rift Valley side gained valuable experience against the Kerugoya side, exposing them at the highest level. 

They almost made the perfect start when they were awarded a penalty corner in the opening minute. However the shot from Caroline Chelanga was saved by the Kapkolei’s goalkeeper.

The crisp passing and ball control by Kapkolei created several opportunities, and put the Kerugoya’s defence under some pressure.

A double strike from Simon Adaga in the 29th and 54th minutes helped St. Anthony to a 2-1 victory over Kamusinga in the boys’ final.

The early stages of the match were a scrappy affair, with both teams struggling to retain possession in the hot conditions. Slowly though St. Anthony began to get the upper hand in the game and took the lead in the 29th minute when Adaga opened the scoring.

Kamusinga hit back in the 40th minute thanks to a beautiful reverse stick effort from Rodgers Simiyu, but Adaga re-established the St. Anthony lead moments later.

“I’m very delighted with this win. Those two goals will forever be etched in my mind. To score in a final feels very good,” said a triumphant Adaga.

 

Isaac Mutua

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