Eastern region showdown begins

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Wednesday, June 19th 2019 at 01:05 GMT +3 | Football
Ibrahim Shambi, then of Kathungi High School, in a training session. [Jonah Onyango]

A battle to succeed Kathungi as Eastern Region Secondary Schools boys under 19 football champions begins today as this year’s regional Term Two Games begin in Makueni.

Makueni Boys and Unoa Grounds will be battlefields as 16 sides face off in a quest for regional glory and a ticket to next month’s Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association National Term Two games in Kisumu. After seven years of Kathungi reign, new champions will be crowned in the region. Kathungi were unrivalled ruling Eastern since 2012 but their dominance came to a sudden end after they fell to Katulani in the preliminaries at the Sub-County level.

County champions Iiani (Makueni), Machakos School (Machakos), Tharaka Boys (Tharaka Nithi), Nguviu Boys (Embu) Katheka (Kitui) Dakabaricha (Marsabit ) and Isiolo’S Namy are front runners for this year’s title. Iiani launch their campaign in Group B against Tharaka boys while Dakabaricha take on Machakos in A.

In other matches, emerging sports powerhouse Mbooni Boys from Makueni tackle Mukuuni from Tharaka Nithi while Marsabit Mixed clash with Lukenya from Machakos in Group A and B respectively. A new winner will also be witnessed in the girls under 19 category after 2018 champions Matuu Memorial failed to qualify for the regional show.  

Kangaru Girls from Embu highlight Group A where they will be battling for a place in the quarter-finals against Karugwa from Meru, Mwangaza from Isiolo and Ngakaa from Makueni. Makueni champions St Mary’s Ndovea, Kitololoni from Embu, Ngaramara from Isiolo and Meru’s Kanjalu will face off in Group B.

Kitui winners Mbitini, Mukothima from Tharaka Nithi, Bishop Cavallera from Marsabit and Materdei will battle it out in Group C whereas Moi Girls Marsabit, AIC Nyayo from Machakos, Thitani from Kitui and Magumoni Day from Tharaka Nithi will clash in Group D.

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Mbooni who have their eyes set on the boys under 16 crown will launch their campaign in Group B against Marsabit at Police Grounds. Mbooni who won the county title are seeking their maiden ticket to the national games. Mbooni coach Dominic Maingi said his boys will be looking to overcome their opponents so they can achieve their goal of playing at this year’s national games.

Siakago from Embu take on Tharaka Nithi’s Kiereni while Mutitu from Kitui play Ngoto from Makueni in their opening Group A matches. Igembe from Meru will play Machakos in another Group B match.

“We are inspired by the desire to play at this year’s national games. The boys are eager to play on the bigger stage and it motivates them to work harder. Our strategy is a win at a time with the aim of emerging victorious on the final day of competition,” Maingi said.

Today’s football fixtures

Under 19 boys

Dakabaricha v Machakos

Iiani v Tharaka

Mbooni v Mukuuni

Marsabit Mixed v Lukenya

Under 16 boys

Siakago v Kiereni

Marsabit v Mbooni

Mutito v Ngoto

Igembe v Machakos

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