Alubaka steers KCB to Enterprise Cup Final

By francis marangu
Mar 30, 2021
  • Dennis Mwanja was rested in the second half as KCB beat Impala in extra time to reach the Enterprise Cup final where they play against Nakuru RFC. (SNA File Photo)

Substitute Edwin Alubaka scored the winning try in extra time as Kenya Commercial Bank weathered pressure from hosts Resolution Impala Saracens to qualify for the Enterprise Cup final.

The teams tied 24-24 at regulation time when Nato Simiyu scored a try in the 80th minute and Moses Kola kept a cool head to convert and force the game into sudden-death play off.

After the regulation time, it took another 20 minutes before the bankers got the winning points through Alubaka. They will now meet Nakuru RFC in the final slated for next weekend.

Top Fry Nakuru, popularly known as Wanyore qualified with a 38-10 home win over Nondescript RFC last weekend.

Said Edwin Salamba, the KCB captain: “It was a good match but we did not play to the expectations. We expected a tough one since we lost to the same team here in the Kenya Cup. Our strong forwards and good substitutions won the match for us.”

Impala started off strongly with a first minute try by Lameck Dunde after finishing off a missed penalty by left winger Quinto Odhiambo.

Capitalized on a slip up

Dennis Mwanja put KCB level with a try in the 13th minute converted by Martin Mutai. Six minutes later, Odhiambo restored the lead for Impala capitalizing on a slip up by KCB fullback Jacob Ojee who dropped the ball on the try line.

But, Ojee and right winger Allan Omuka stood out for KCB with good breaks while fullback Ian Minjire and Odhiambo were key players for Impala, winning the side's huge possession.

At the half hour mark, KCB was back in the lead with Anthony Ogot touching down for a 14-12 advantage at halftime. Mutai added the extra two points.

Seven minutes after the restart, KCB were reduced to fourteen men when Mutai was sent to the sin bin and cost his team a penalty. Odhiambo was wide. He failed to restore Impala's lead after missing another penalty two minutes later.

The tide turned and Omuka punished Impala for the misses in the 54th minute with an unconverted try to extend KCB's lead to 19-12. Substitute Ian Indimuli added the team’s fourth try in the 60th minute with conversion going wide.

Complacency by KCB

Enjoying a twelve points lead at 24-12, complacency appeared to get the better of KCB. They were pinned by Impala in their own half. KCB's Elphas Otieno was then sent to the sin bin after a foul on Minjire as the impala player went for a high ball.

The numerical advantage enabled Impala score a try through Anthony Oyugi in the 74th minute to cut their lead to seven points. As KCB was preparing to celebrate, Nato Simiyu touched down in the 80th minute with Moses Kola converting to tie the game.

In extra time, Impala's Joel Omer was sent to the sin bin and Kola missed a penalty. KCB had to do without key players Philip Wamae, Dennis Mwanja and Ojee who were pulled out in the second half.

Duncan Ekasi, the Impala captain conceded defeat. “After a hundred minutes of rugby and the team almost there, it's painful to have lost. KCB simply utilised the opportunity they got in extra time.”