By BS Mulavi
Kenya Harlequin recovered from a disappointing end to the Kenya Cup to scoop the Enterprise Cup in a pulsating final against Impala at the RFUEA grounds.
The champions convincingly beat neighbours Impala 19-6 in an interesting turn of fate on Saturday. A month ago Impala snatched the Kenya Cup from Quins and it was sweet revenge for the hosts to deny the red shirts a third trophy of the season.
Quins coach Edward Kinyany praised the team saying they were back to winning ways. But what did the coach mean as they have won all their games on the way to the title except their semi-final draw with KCB which they went on to win in Ruaraka in the replay?
After a second-rate end to the Kenya Cup, Quins dug deep and came out stronger, beating Mwamba in the quarter-finals 36-13. Mwamba that had demolished them in the Kenya Cup and slowed their stride to retaining the title.
The second week of the tournament was no easier for them with the new champions having to face sworn enemies KCB who, before the encounter, had already defeated them on three occasions on home soil.
True to the trend, they almost had a fourth win at the RFUEA grounds, but a spirited fight-back secured Quins a draw which led to a second leg replay at Ruaraka where a brilliant piece of coaching earned them a slot in the final after beating the hosts 16-6.
Kinyany and his team came up with a strategy where they mixed some of the upcoming players with veterans in the first half and kept heavy ammunition on the bench.
This worked for them as in the second half whenever a substitute got onto the pitch the game picked up and the opponents who had shown all their cards where left dazzled.
A week later in the final, Impala expected the same approach, but the technical bench had something else in mind. Kinyany fielded his strongest team in the first half who got their opponents unaware which helped them to pick up the early points. I mpala could not get back and consequently lost.