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Gladiators halted as Orange fortunes continue to rise

Maxwel Fuchaka of Strathmore with trophies

Maxwel Fuchaka of Strathmore with trophies

Nairobi Simba and Orange ladies hockey team lifted the inaugural floodlight hockey tournament by defeating league defending champions Strathmore and runners-up Virgin Vikings in a tightly contested finals at City Park stadium, Nairobi.

In the first match that kicked off at 8:25 pm, Orange defeated Vikings ladies 5 – 3 on penalties after a barren draw in an balanced match. Both teams enjoyed good spells with Orange’s Tioni and new signing Barbra Simiyu coming close to give the champions a lead but were denied by the skillful Vikings keeper.

The second match delivered as much as it promised. Nairobi Simba were full house and were out to put an end to Strathmore’s dominance of the KHU league while Strathmore was out to make a statement on what they can do.

Simba fired the first salvo less than 3 minutes into the match with the inspirational Zack Aura working his way past the defence to take a low backhand shot to the right corner past the goalkeeper. The goal clearly caught the students un-awares and they struggled to regain composure for the remainder of the half.

The second half was a different story altogether with Simba soaking in one counter attack after the other from the students.  The reward came soon in the form of a goal by Frank Wanangwe after some classic assist from George Mutira, who worked his way past several defenders.  The one-all tie would result in penalty flicks, where Simbas experience woul see the score all 4 flicks while Strathmore missed all but 1. The final score : 5 – 2.

The tournament was graced by ports assistant minister Kabando wa Kabando who switched on the lights at exactly 8pm in front of a lively crowd. Other guests included the Kenya Hockey Union chairman Resham Bains, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairman Kipchoge Keino, Musco Lighting president, Joe Crookham and Africa Hockey Federation (AHF) chairman Seif Ahmed.

The tournament also doubled up as the presentation ceremony for last seasons winners of the Kenya Hockey Union men and womens leagues as follows: Strathmore – mens premier league winners, Kenya Police – mens premier league runner up, Orange – Ladies league winners, USIU – Ladies runner up, Karate Axiom – National league winners and Mombasa Institute – National League runner up.

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The weekend also saw two tournaments: one held in Eldoret hosted by Eldoret Youngsters and the other at City Park hosted by Strathmore.

The Eldoret Tourney saw Kimathi Univ. face off but lose bravely to Kenya Police in the finals. The semi finals had pitted Kimathi A vs Kimathi B on one side while K.Police A and K.Police B faced off in the other semis.

The City park tourney, whose proceeds were to be used to support famine striken areas of Kenya, saw  Strathmore A face Strathmore B in one semi final while Green Sharks faced USIU-A in the other. The sharks defeated USIU-A on penalty flicks but lost to Strathmore B in the finals. The ladies championship was on a round robin basis: Sliders and Strathmore ladies emerged tops.

visit our facebook page for photos on these tournaments:

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