Andola’s Boot Rescues Strathmore Against Mwamba

By francis marangu
Jan 10, 2022
  • Denis Ombachi contests for the ball with support from Daniel Sikuta in the match when against Strathmore University. Mwamba surrendered a 22-3 lead to lose 23-24. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Tony Onyango beats his Mwamba opponent to the ball. Strathmore edged out Mwamba 24-23 at Impala Club. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Fly half Kenny Andola slotted a late penalty as Pan Africa Strathmore Leos came from behind to narrowly beat Mwamba RFC 23-22 at Impala Club on Saturday.

The win which saw Strathmore rally from 8-22 down at half time extends their Kenya Cup unbeaten run to seven games. Mwamba surged into the lead before the break courtesy of tries by Dan Sikuta, Mark Okwaro and Hyke Otieno.

Lavin Asego kicked over a penalty and landed two conversions while Andola stroked over a drop goal and Michael Wanjala added a try for Strathmore.

Strathmore took charge in second half scoring two quick tries and a conversion to cut the deficit to 20-22. With their first loss of the season imminent, Andola came to the rescue of Strathmore against a complacent Mwamba with the winning kick.

Despite the win, the students dropped their first bonus point of the season.

At the Nakuru Athletic Club, Top Fry Nakuru beat visiting Western Bulls 37-6. The win saw them move to the top of the table with 44 points, same as Strathmore.

Kenya Commercial Bank RFC remained within a point of the leaders after registering a 24-10 bonus point win over Total Nondies in Ruaraka. The bankers had to rally back after losing losing flyhalf Billy Isabwa to injury in the fourth minute.

They conceded a try in the 10th minute when Mike Kang’ethe barged over for Nondies from a rolling maul. KCB responded after three minutes with a try by Elly Mukaidzi to tie the game at 5-all.

Up to this point, the game was fairly balanced until the fly half glitch re-emerged on the opposite side when Nondies’ fly-half Charles Kanyi was substituted because of an injury.

First half closed down with a try saving tackle from Oscar Denis on Darwin Mukidza that could have given KCB the halftime advantage. Winger Collins Wanjala put KCB back to the driving seat with a try four minutes after restart.

Brian Beckham tied the game again 10-10 in the 54th minute with an unconverted try as Nondies sustained the pressure. They had won a scrum inside KCB’s 22 and good contest ended up with the try by Curtis Lilako in the 62nd minute.

Seal the bonus point win

Maxwell Adaka added a try in the 70th while Mukidza kicked over two conversions to seal the bonus point win.

Nondies finished the game with a man down after captain Joseph Wachira was sent to the sin bin by referee John Bosco Muamba in the closing minutes.

Homeboyz RFC and Kenya Harlequin swapped places on the log after the former won 36-22. Homeboyz are now sixth with 19 points while Quins drop to seventh with 16 points.

In this match, Homeboyz led 17-0 at halftime with two tries from Leonard Mugaisi. Haroun Lubisia landed two conversions and a penalty. Quins had scrumhalf Lyle Asiligwa substituted early in the game.

This marked the turning point according to Quin's head coach Joel Ng’ang’a.  “We had to move Patrice Agunda who is a natural center to number 10. It affected us a lot because our forward balls were weak.”

The halftime talk drove new energy into Quins’ players who pushed Homeboyz to their limit in the opening exchanges of second half. By the hour mark, they had reduced the deficit to 15-17 with tries from Petro Misango and Bernard Nyambok while Godfrey Okoth kicked a penalty and one conversion.

Quins managed to hold onto the challenge but slowed down in the final 10 minutes and conceded three tries in six minutes. Alvin Otieno touched down in the 70th minute and Bush Mwale added two in the 74th and 76th minutes to register the bonus point. William Mawira scored the last try for Quins converted by Denis Muhanji.

I knew the boys were strong, Murunga

Homeboyz head coach Paul Murunga attributed the victory to team cohesiveness. “Our training was not interrupted during the festive season which played well in this win. At some point, it was tough but I knew the boys were strong considering the training we had.”

As they chase the playoffs slot, the next four games will be very critical to Homeboyz with key players lined up for international duty. They play Strathmore next weekend followed by ties against KCB, Nakuru and Kabras Sugar but Murunga remains optimistic. “They will not be easy because those teams will come to us for wins but we will not give them easy time,” Murunga explained

For Quins, it’s back to the drawing board as their chances of making to the playoffs dimmed. In their next four matches, Quins will play three against KCB, Strathmore and Nakuru. “As a coach, I have to remain optimistic,” Ng’ang’a said.“After this loss, we will go back to training and get things back on course.”

Kabras Sugar broke into the top four bracket for the first time with a 45-27 bonus point win over Resolution Impala Saracens. They are fourth with 26 points displacing Mwamba to fifth with 25 points.

Mean Machine had their first win of the season after beating Mombasa Sports Club 43-0 and now have three points. Mombasa is still winless while Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad moved to 10 points with their second win of 31-12 over Catholic University Monks.

Kenya Cup Results: Kenya Harlequin 22 Homeboyz 36, KCB 24 Total Nondies 10, Catholic Monks 12 Blak Blad 31, Pan Africa Strathmore Leos 23 Mwamba RFC 22, Mombasa Sports Club 0 Mean Machine 43, Top Fry Nakuru 37 Western Bulls 6, Kabras Sugar 45 Resolution Impala Saracens 27.