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SPORTS

Sailors survive Scorpions' sting

HOCKEY By Elizabeth Mburugu | May 2nd 2017
Chase Amira Pauline Naise(l) protecting the ball as Orange Lilian Aura blocks her when they played Ladies National League at City Park yesterday. Orange won 3-0. ON 11/03/2017 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Pauline Naise netted a last-minute equaliser to salvage a point for Amira Sailors against Strathmore University Scorpions.

Amira, who are making their second appearance in the Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League, put up a spirited fight to hold Scorpions 1-1 in a tightly contested match yesterday at City Park.

National team defender Elizabeth Ngombo put the students ahead in the second quarter following a successful penalty corner conversion.

However, Amira were not ready to suffer a second defeat of the season after they lost to champions Telkom Orange in their opener, and relentlessly fought on.

Amira captain Lorraine Nondi said it was unfortunate that they were blunt with their finishing, otherwise, they had a good game.

"We want to improve on last season's performance which means we are targeting a top two finish. We need to work on that with urgency," Nondi said

The early morning rains slowed down the pace for both sides, making it difficult for them to make long and sure passes. The students settled faster and created the game's first chance seven minutes into play, but Yvonne Karanja's shot, from a short corner, was blocked by the Amira defence.

The students took the lead in the 23rd minute with their second short corner when Ngombo shot past Kerubo. Strathmore were almost punished minutes later when a lapse in defence allowed Naise to surge into the Scorpions circle, but Oketch was again unable to complete the job.

Amira intensified their hunt for an equaliser in the third quarter with Strathmore guarding their lead. The university students survived three penalty corners from their opponents to the relief of their supporters.

However, a Jane Murage foul on Oketch, with with seconds remaining, made the difference as Amira were awarded a penalty stroke. Naise made it count to force a draw.

Strathmore struggled in the absence of coach Meshack Senge. They are also missing the services of their prolific strikers Gilly Okumu (knee injury) and Winnnie Odongo (broken hand). Nonetheless, all was not gloomy for the Scorpions, who welcomed back their influential player, Caroline Njoki.

Strathmore stand-in coach Fred Oracha was impressed with the result.

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