SCHOOLS: St Joseph Girls Kitale ready to jog to East Africa

Daisy Kerubo (center) of St Joseph Girls Kitale trains with her teammates ahead of the semis.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

Rift Valley champions St Joseph Girls Kitale will be baying for blood when they renew their rivalry with Western champions Tigoi Girls in the semifinals of the ongoing Brookside KSSSA National Term One games in Machakos.

The Trans Nzoia County heavyweights were knocked out at the same stage last year by Tigoi who went on to lose to Nyamira Girls in the finals.

St Joseph Girls Kitale coach John Lusaka.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

Speaking ahead of the encounter, St Joseph Kitale coach John Lusaka expressed confidence within his team, saying they will be aggressive against Tigoi but patience and clinical to counter the Western sides physical style of play.

“We know Tigoi are a very good side. They proved that last year at the nationals but we showed them dust at the East Africa level. The journey and dream of winning the nationals continues and we must get to the finals if we want to bring the trophy home,” said Lusaka.

St Joseph Girls Kitale assistant coach Linnah Baraza (left) instructs Michelle Jeptoo during training ahead of the semis.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

St Joseph Kitale assistant coach Linnah Baraza echoed Lusaka’s sentiments, adding that the girls are mentally strong and physically fit.

“We have a stronger and experienced team compared to last year. These girls are not only giving their best in the classroom but also on the pitch. They are determined to show Kenyans that they can battle and return the national trophy to Rift Valley,” said Baraza who formerly captained Lakers Hockey Club in the KHU Premier League.

St Joseph Girls Kitale hockey players trains ahead of the semis.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

East Africa champions Nyamira Girls High School were first to secure a slot in the last four on Wednesday when they beat Tigoi Girls from Western 1-0 to reach the semis with a game to spare after Mercy Dawo struck the winner for the Nyanza champions.

Yesterday, the Siaya County hockey giants ensured they maintained their impressive run when they silenced Nyayo Girls 1-0. Nyamira captain Jacinta Amimo Opondo scored the winner to help her side maintain their unbeaten run.

Michelle Jeptoo of St Joseph Girls Kitale trains ahead of the semis.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

In fact, Nyamira Girls are unbeaten in the past two years, with their last defeat coming at the nationals in 2022.

Opondo said they are calm and composed ahead of the semis and are confident they will topple their opponents and qualify for the East Africa Games.

“We know what to do in the semifinals. Score, maintain discipline, relax and enjoy hockey. We have no pressure and the team is unified towards one goal; to retain the national title,” said Opondo.

Nyamira Girls will face off against Mpesa Foundation in the first semis 

Musingu School, who are the defending champions in hockey boys, also sailed through to the semis where they will play St Charles Lwanga from Coast while St Anthony’s Boys Kitale clash against Nairobi School.

Hockey semis

Boys

St Charles Lwanga v Musingu

Nairobi School v St Anthony’s Kitale

Girls

Nyamira v Mpesa Foundation

Tigoi v St Joseph Girls Kitale

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