Champions Butali return top of Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League standings
Champions Butali Warriors returned to the summit of the Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League standings following a weekend victory over rivals Nairobi Sikh Union.
Butali triumphed 3-1 over the 2012 winners in one of the most anticipated matches in Kenyan hockey. The clash is formerly known as the Simba derby when the two sides Kisumu Simba and Nairobi Simba battled to prove the real lion. Kisumu rebranded to Butali after gaining sponsorship from Butali Sugar Millers while Nairobi changed to Sikh Union and in 2014 and since then the millers have dominated the derby.
Moses Ademba, Constant Wakhura and Amos Barkibir scored for Butali whereas Ian Shama netted Sikh Union's consolation goal. The win saw the defending champions recapture the top spot with 13 points same as Western Jaguars who had ended Wazalendo's winning streak in Kakamega. Butali are on top thanks to their superior goal difference.
Butali have played five matches winning four and dropping two points in a 3-3 draw with United States International University of Africa (USIU-A). Captain Kenneth Nyongesa said a victory against Sikh Union was crucial in enhancing their chances of retaining their title. "They (Sikh Union) are former champions and winning against them is a step closer to defending our title," Nyongesa said.
Wazalendo dropped from the top spot to third with 12 having failed to maintain their good run away to Jaguars. Kenya Police are fourth with 11 following their 2-2 with USIU-A. Police garnered their points from six outings. Winless Strathmore University Gladiators are stuck at the bottom with one point from five matches.
Reigning women Premier League champions Telkom opened a four-point gap between them and second-placed USIU-A Spartans who they beat 2-1 at the weekend. Telkom have so far dropped for crucial points this season in two draws. Spartans are tied on seven points with third-placed Lakers while Amira Sailors and Strathmore Scorpions are fourth and fifth respectively.
Park road Badgers lead the chase for a promotion to the men's top tier with 24 points from eight matches. Badgers who were demoted after failing to excel last season remain unbeaten and have only conceded three goals. The Technical University of Kenya are second with 18 points while Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU) are third with 17.
The top six places in the Super League are occupied by sides that are seeking to return to the top tier having been demoted in the past. Mombasa Sports Club (MSC), Mvita XI and Kenyatta University who have all tested the Premier League but could not sustain their stay at the top are fourth, fifth and sixth.
Dan Onyango of Parklands and Conrad Wafula of Jaguars lead the men's Premier League scorers with six goals each while Scorpions' Gilly Okumu tops the women with five.
Butali 3 Sikh Union 1
TUK 1 Bungoma Farmers 0
KU 0 KCAU 1
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