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Hockey: Wazalendo keen to stop Butali march to league title

Last updated 7 months ago | By Elizabeth Mburugu

Kenyatta University Kennedy Nyongesa(l) chases the ball as Butali Warriors Daniel Onyango(r) follows when they played premier Men at CityPark on 02/07/2016. PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Champions Butali Warriors will be on a mission to be crowned the Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League champions when they take on Wazalendo today at City Park.

A point is all Butali need to successfully defend their title and also remain unbeaten.

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The draw means the champions will reach the 40-point mark which will be unattainable for their closest challengers Wazalendo.

A win for Wazalendo on the other hand will only increase their chances of a second place finish because for them to snatch the trophy, Butali must lose by bigger margins in the remaining three matches.

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Oozing confidence, Butali coach Dennis Owoka said his charges will be looking to complete the job today.

“We have had a brilliant season and we are only one match away from achieving our main objective. We need one point to retain our title but we will be going for victory because we want more points,” Owoka said.

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He added that having settled for a 1-1 draw in their first leg tie, they were expecting a tough duel. Butali will be out to seal their fourth title since re-branding in 2014.

They won the 2014 and 2015 while Strathmore University Gladiators dethroned them in 2016.

Police would ensure Butali suffered a two-year trophy drought by winning in 2017. However, they reclaimed their gong last season and are now eager to extend their reign.

In another Premier League encounter, 2017 winners Kenya Police take on bottom placed Parklands. The law enforcers who are currently fourth with 25 points will be out to improve their prospects of a top three finish.

Tomorrow, Police will lock horns with Greensharks in a match likely to have a bearing on who finishes among the top three.

Two points separate Police and Sharks who have played 16 matches, two more than the multiple league winners. Parklands on the other hand will take on Sailors in hunt of their second win of the season.

In the women’s Premier League title chase, holders Blazers will tomorrow take on Kenyatta University (KU) Titans.

Blazers will be out to extend their dominance over KU students who are set to drop down to the women’s lower tier after failing to excel upon returning to top flight hockey this season.

Titans and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) who will play Sliders tomorrow, are at the bottom of the table.

Sliders are one place above relegation with 12 points. They will tackle third placed Strathmore University Scorpions today.