USIU, Sliders sink Lakers’ unbeaten run

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Monday, October 14th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Hockey
Lakers hockey Club's Judith Abayo in past action. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Novices Lakers unbeaten run in the Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League title chase ended after suffering double loss at the weekend.

The Kisumu-based side had a disappointing outing at City Park losing to United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans and Sliders, thus dimming their hopes of a top-two finish.

Lakers, who made their Premier League this season, debut fell to Spartans 1-2 on Saturday before going down by the same margin to 1999 champions Sliders.

Saturday’s win saw Spartans move second on the standings with 20 points from six wins, two draws and two losses.

Telkom, who are chasing a record 20 straight title and 22nd overall, top the log with 26 points while Strathmore, who have 18 points, and were not in action this weekend, were pushed to third place.

Victory against Lakers was crucial for Sliders who have not been at their best and are currently fighting to avoid relegation.

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They have won three out of 11 encounters and are sixth with 12 points, a place above bottom-stuck Kenyatta University Titans and their Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology counterparts.

Despite the loss, rookies Lakers had given a good account of themselves as they challenged a somewhat experienced Sliders side from the onset.

Led by captain Linah Barasa, Lakers impressed creating several scoring chances while stopping all efforts Sliders made to take the lead. The two sides battled to a barren first quarter.

Knowing too well that the outcome of the clash will increase or reduce their chances of staying in the top tier, Sliders intensified their hunt for a goal in the second quarter.

After several failed attempts, skipper Charity Miller finally got it right after outsmarting Lakers defenders to send the ball home past goalkeeper Effi Adhiambo in the 27th minute.

Sliders protected their 1-0 lead going into the breather. Not ready to let Sliders, who they held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg carry the day, Lakers tightened their defence while surging deep into the opponents’ territory.

Siblings Maureen Owiti and Alice Owiti as well Aurelia Opondo created several scoring chances but Sliders’ backline and shot stopper Catherine Opicha would not let them have their way as they thwarted their efforts to ensure parity.

Doreen Otienno made it 2-0 for Sliders in the 49th minute but Lakers fought on. Their efforts paid off seconds into the final whistle as Owiti pulled one back.

Against USIU-A Spartans, Maureen scored Lakers’ consolation goal in the 50th minute.

Veronica Maua and Harriet Omindi had given Spartans a 2-0 advantage in 23rd and 44th minutes.

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