Hockey: Ousted champions Blazers now chase Africa Club ticket

USIU’s Lyn Mwangi in action against Blazers at City Park. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

After missing out on the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) women’s Premier League title, Blazers Hockey Club now aim at finishing second this season.

The former champions on Sunday saw off bottom-placed Sliders 2-0 to increase their chances of finishing runner-up and punch their ticket to the 2023 Africa Club Championships.

Newly crowned champions Strathmore University Scorpions have already booked a place at next year’s Club Games. The Scorpions were crowned champions with two matches to spare last month after thrashing the United States International University (USIU) Spartans 4-2.

The second spot is currently held by Lakers Hockey Club from Kisumu, who have 21 points and have played all their matches of the season.

Blazers are third on 19 points but with a game in hand and they would qualify for the continental games next year if they defeat Amira Sailors in their remaining match of the campaign.

Speaking to Standard Sports, Blazers captain Tracy Karanja said the team’s main focus is to finish second after missing out on the title.

The Kenyan international added that they are not giving up despite facing a tough season where they have failed to win six matches (losing one and drawing five).

“It’s been a tricky and challenging season for us. Losing our title was painful but I must applaud the level of hockey in the league. It has improved. This is a wake-up call to us to work even harder next season because teams are growing and talented, unlike the previous years,” said Karanja.

“Despite the setback, we want to end the season on a high note and the best way to do it is by finishing second and qualifying for the Africa Club games.”

Blazers have played 11 games and won five this season.

Elsewhere, Butali Warriors are one win away from retaining the men’s Premier League title.

The sugar men thrashed Mombasa Sports Club 6-0 over the weekend to stretch their lead at the top to 40 points, eight points more than second placed Western Jaguars.

Butali are currently unbeaten in their 16 matches played. 

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