Winger Jacob Ojee scored one try and kicked 13 points as KCB came from behind to retain the Kenya Cup with a thrilling 23-15 win over Kabras Sugar in the final at the Kakamega Showground yesterday.
The bankers have now won three Kenya Cup titles in as many years, bringing their tally to seven.
Interestingly, all their victories in past three seasons have been against Kabras, who have now failed to beat the Ruaraka-based side in 11 attempts.
Eager to retain the title, KCB made their intentions clear early in the first half when they won a penalty but Kenya Sevens captain Ojee sent his kick off target.
Peter Kilonzo’s high tackle on Fijian Jone Kubu would prompt centre referee Moses Ndung’u to send the KCB man to the sinbin, his dismissal handing Kabras a 10-minute numerical advantage.
Ojee would squander yet another penalty before making amends soon afterwards with a try which he converted to hand Curtis Olago’s side a 7-0 lead.
Despite being a man down, KCB defended with resolve, denying the sugar millers clear cut chances.
Kabras had a chance to reduce the deficit when they were awarded a penalty but Ugandan utility back Philip Wokorach, who had been deployed at flyhalf, failed to get himself on the score sheet.
Following a series of pick and drives, Dan Sikuta crossed the whitewash at the corner for Kabras’ first try but Wokorach failed to add the extras as KCB enjoyed a two-point advantage at the break.
Kenya U-20 halfback Barry Ribinson, who had been handed a rare start, set up Charlton Mokua for a converted try as Kabras led for the first time.
The hosts were then handed a penalty and Wokorach made no mistake from the tee, taking the scores to 15-7 in Kabras' favour.
Kabras were also temporarily reduced to 14 men as winger Kevin Keegan was shown his marching orders.
This fired up the bankers as they scored two penalties in succession through Ojee.
The lead changed hands yet again as Shaban Ahmed went over for a converted try before Ojee slotted home a penalty.
Meanwhile, Kisumu RFC were crowned KRU Championship winners after beating Western Bulls 23-5 in a match which the lakeside-based club led 13-0 at halftime courtesy of two unconverted tries by Boniface Okoth and Denver Audo while Steve Obadiah scored a penalty.
Kisumu would seal the win with two more five-pointers in the second half as substitute Allan Kasiti gave Bulls a late consolation.