Hockey: Amira Sailors ready to steady their ship after stormy ride this season

Strathmore University's Grace Bwire (left) and Viviane Achieng of Amira Sailors during a KHU Premier League match at City Park, on October 1. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Relegation-threatened Amira Sailors Hockey Club are ready for life in the Super League after losing their fifth Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match in Kisumu last Saturday.

Sailors who are joint bottom in the league with Sliders lost 2-0 to Lakers at Kisumu Day High School grounds, a defeat which saw the remain winless since the start of the 2022 season.

The Nairobi based outfit have played 10 games, losing five and drawing five with two matches left till the end of the season.

Speaking to Standard Sports, Sailors team manager Asimba Jayala said despite being impressed with how his team played in Kisumu, he is worried they might face the chop at the end of the season.

Jayala agreed that they have had a poor season and if they will be relegated, they will have a chance to rebuild.

“We have not been good enough this year. We are yet to win a game this season, but I trust my players. We will have time to rebuild if the worst happens because I believe in second chances,” said Jayala.

“A clear example of rebuilding is the Sailors men’s team which after a year down, is playing much better and winning big matches and I trust the same can be implemented with the ladies as we target to rebuild and start a fresh.”

Sailors have lost to Lakers, Blazers, Sliders and Strathmore Scorpions twice (first leg and second leg).

In Nairobi, defending champions Blazers ended Strathmore University Scorpion’s perfect run after holding the league leaders to a 1-1 draw at City Park.

Scorpions headed into the match with a 100 percent win record after their impressive seven wins on the trot and hoped to complete a double over the champions whom they beat 2-0 in the first leg to improve on their chances of winning the league.

However, Blazers who are the most successful hockey club in the country, had other ideas.

Despite a goalless first half, Blazers showed their intent of wanting to win the match known in the third quarter after scoring in the 43 minute when Barbara Simiyu converted a penalty corner.

The leaders left it late to secure an important point when captain Jeriah Onsare levelled the scores in the 57 minute also through a penalty corner.

Despite the draw, Strathmore lead the log with 22 points, seven ahead of Blazers who maintain second spot on 15 points. Lakers from Kisumu are third with 14 points as USIU Spartans close the top four with 9 points.

In Kisumu, Lakers completed a perfect weekend run after narrowly seeing off Sliders 1-0 on Sunday.

Aurelia Opondo scored the all-important goal in the 45th minute to send Lakers to 14 points after eight rounds of matches. The win saw Lakers maintain their perfect start to the second leg.

On Saturday, Lakers edged off Amira Sailors 2-0.

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