Butali Sugar Warriors back to hunting ways as league leaders Police open a 13-point gap in the title race

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Tuesday, November 21st 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Hockey
Africa Cup Championship at City Park. Kenya Butali Sugar Saidi Okwemba when they played Eastern during Africa Cup Championship at City Park. ON 11/01/2017 PHOTO; JENIPHER WACHIE

Former Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League champions Butali Sugar Warriors had a successful week as they scored a double victory at the weekend.

Their midweek 2-0 win over Parkroad Badgers set them on the path to earning nine crucial points that propelled them to second place, up from fourth.

They have 45 points from 19 rounds of matches, 13 less than leaders Kenya Police, who remain unbeaten after 20 outings. Warriors beat Nairobi Sikh Union 3-1 and Chase Sailors 3-0 on Saturday and Sunday to revive their hopes of a top two finish.

The 2015 champions seem to be regaining their footing after a shaky season that has seen them lose two matches to Police in the first round and to Greensharks in the second leg. They have also drawn thrice, dropping six more points.

Warriors captain Kenneth Nyongesa remained hopeful, saying even though reclaiming their title was a feat they might not achieve, a top two finish was more realistic.

“We had to adjust our goals to more practical ones and I think this season we can only fight for second place. Police have been in fine form and thinking we can even snatch the title, which they already have in one hand, is unrealistic,” Nyongesa said.

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He added that going forward, they were determined to earn points from every match played. Greensharks were pushed to third place with 43 points while United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) are fourth with 38.

Last year’s winners Strathmore University Gladiators are ninth with 22 points while Technical University of Kenya are last with six points from 21 rounds of matches.

Western Jaguars, who survived demotion, seem to be courting relegation as they are 14th with 18 points from 18 matches. Kenyatta University Vultures are 13th while their Kenya College of Accountancy University counterparts are 12th, two places above the relegation zone.

Telkom enjoy an eight-point advantage at the peak of the women’s title chase with 42 points from 14 matches. The 19-time league champions, who had their spotless season tainted in their 3-2 win over rivals Strathmore Scorpions on Sunday, have scored 85 goals.

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