After four days of turmoil, upsets and luck, the national secondary schools Term Two games concluded at Nakuru High School yesterday with the crowning of new football kings and queens.
Ebwali Secondary School and Wiyeta Girls Secondary School were crowned the new boys and girls football champions.
Tom Osieko scored a first half free kick that saw Ebwali narrowly edge off Highway Secondary 1-0 in the final, as the Vihiga County school sealed not only their first title, but also restored Western Region's lost glory in football.
The last school from Western to win the football crown was Kakamega High School, famously known as the Green Commandos, in 2018. The Commandos were, however, not so lucky this year after exciting the scene at the regional games two weeks ago.
Like the wheel of fortune, however, lucky is certainly a word you would use to describe Ebwali.
Ebwali qualified for the nationals after Bukembe Secondary School were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player during the Western Regional finals.
Bukembe had knocked out Ebwali 7-6 on penalties in the final, but even when losing, Lady luck seemed not to forget Ebwali.
After scraping through to Group A of the national football boys' pools on the eve of the games' kick off, luck could no longer be used to describe them as Ebwali did not disappoint.
They advanced to the finals of the national school games with a 100 percent win record after triumphing in all their games, including a 3-1 win over Highway in the Group stage.
On Sunday, Ebwali knocked out Rift Valley’s Kabarnet Boys 1-0 to book a place in the final.
Ebwali in the process dethroned defending champions St Anthony’s Boys Kitale, who were knocked out in the regionals by Kabarnet.
It is also an improvement from their third place finish in 2019, their last appearance at the nationals.
"I have been fighting to get this title since 2014 without success, but finally I have managed. This win is one of a kind because we have beaten a strong team,” said Ebwali head coach Francis Muhambe.
In the girls' category, Rift Valley champions Wiyeta Girls, who are known for producing top players including Vihiga Queens and Harambee Starlets' Jentrix Shikangwa, reclaimed the title they lost five years ago after edging out Dagoretti Mixed Secondary on post-match penalties
Wiyeta claimed their 10th title and first since 2018 after they saw off Dagoretti Mixed Secondary School 4-1 on post-match penalties after the match ended in a 0-0 draw in regular time.
Wiyeta goalkeeper Velma Auma emerged the darling of her team and fans after she saved two penalties from Patience Kasiutawa and Miriam Susan to give her side the memorable win.
Dorine Aujat, Praxidis Shirikwa, Lavenda Waswa and Sharlyne Opisa were on the spot for Wiyeta.
“I am very happy we are taking home the 10th title," said Wiyeta coach Edgar Manyara.
Wiyeta dethroned defending champions Nyakach Girls who failed to reach the nationals after losing to Kobala Mixed in the Nyanza Regional games.
Wiyeta Girls, Ebwali Secondary, Highway Secondary and Dagoretti Mixed will all represent Kenya at the East Africa games.