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Rivalry reloaded as Orange clash with Heartland

HOCKEY By Elizabeth Mburugu | January 13th 2017 | 2 min read
Orange Telkom Caroline Guchu blocks Nigeria Kada Queens Loveth Moogiate when they played Africa Cup Championship at City Park yesterda, on 07/01/2017 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Mother of all battles is expected when old foes Telkom Orange and Heartland of Nigeria square it out in the women’s semi-finals match of the Africa Cup for Club Championships today.

City Park Stadium will be a war zone when the two sides clash to remain in contention of the continents most prestigious hockey gong.

The two sides have dominated the continent dethroning each each other year in year out. The last time the two antagonists played, Orange carried the day. Nigerians will be out to avenge their 1-3 loss to Orange during the 2014 championship held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Heartlands who are the second successful women’s club in Africa after Orange are seeking to end the trophy drought.

Heartland finished second in pool B with eight points after playing to a 3-3 draw against Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The second semis match will see GRA tackle another Nigerian side Kada Queens. GRA who finished third in Zambia last year are eying their maiden crown.

Exuding confidence Orange Captain Tracy Karanja said that even though every team wants to dethrone them they are ready to defend their honour.

“Every team wants to beat us, but we are not going to let them have their way because this trophy belongs to us and to get it they have to go through us. All our opponents are determined to wrestle the trophy from us but playing on home turf we are not ready to settle for anything less than the trophy,” Karanja said.

The reigning continental queens drubbed arch-rivals Sliders 4-0 in their final group A match to maintain their unbeaten run. The win saw them finish on top of the log with 12 points after four victories. A brace from evergreen Jackline Mwangi and one each from Maureen Okumu and Audery Omaido were all the eight-time champions needed to extend their winning streak.

The loss dashed Sliders hopes of reclaiming the title they last won in 1999 in their debut on the continental scene. To progress, Sliders needed to beat Orange 8-0 but that proved to be a hard nut to crack.

Orange and Kada Queens advanced from the group. Sharkia ladies of Egypt secured their first win of the tournament after they clobbering Uganda’s Weatherhead 6-1.

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