End of an Era: Homeboyz relegated from Kenya Cup after 13 years

Action between Homeboyz and Masinde Muliro University.[Courtesy,Homeboyz]

After a commendable 13-year stint in the premier division of Kenyan rugby, Homeboyz Rugby Club finds itself facing the daunting reality of relegation from the Kenya Cup.

This significant turn of events was sealed last Saturday when the Deejayz failed to show up for their match against Mwamba, resulting in a 24-0 walkover.

The consequence of not honoring this fixture was a deduction of two points, leaving Homeboyz in an untenable position with zero points and just one game remaining against Blak Blad before the curtain falls on the 2023-2024 regular season.

Homeboyz's journey in the 2023-2024 season has been a challenging one, marked by a series of defeats and a solitary draw in their ten matches.

The season kicked off on a disappointing note with a 12-34 loss to Leos, followed by a series of defeats against Nakuru (15-26), CUEA (17-27), Nondies (0-32), Kabras (6-71), KCB (10-77), Quins (3-52), and Oilers (13-43).

Their only respite came in a 16-16 draw against Kisumu, showcasing the team's fighting spirit despite the overwhelming odds. However, the walkover against Mwamba epitomized the struggles Homeboyz faced throughout the season, culminating in their relegation.

Founded in 2009 with the aim of nurturing young talent, Homeboyz quickly established itself as a formidable force in Kenyan rugby.

Under the guidance of Paul Murunga, the club secured promotion to the Kenya Cup in 2011 after winning the Eric Shirley Shield in consecutive years. The following years saw Homeboyz enjoy a successful run, particularly in the mid-2010s.

The pinnacle of their performance came during the 2016/2017 season when they finished atop the Kenya Cup standings, earning a direct home semifinal.

Although they were eliminated by Kabras RFC in a closely contested match, Homeboyz's resilience and competitive spirit were unmistakable.

Homeboyz's contributions to Kenyan rugby have been significant, with notable achievements including reaching the Kenya Cup semifinals in consecutive seasons (2017/2018) and their triumphant victory in the 2018 Enterprise Cup, where they overcame Impala RFC 21-3.

These accomplishments underscored the club's potential and the pivotal role it has played in promoting rugby in Kenya.

The relegation to the second-tier KRU Championship for the 2024/2025 season marks a new chapter for Homeboyz.

While this development is undoubtedly a setback, it also presents an opportunity for the club to regroup, rebuild, and aim for a swift return to the top flight.

The journey ahead will require dedication, resilience, and a rekindling of the spirit that saw Homeboyz rise through the ranks of Kenyan rugby.

As the club prepares to navigate the challenges of the Championship, the broader rugby community will be keen to see how Homeboyz adapts and strives to reclaim its place in the Kenya Cup, reaffirming its commitment to excellence and the development of young rugby talent in Kenya.

Meanwhile, defending champions will host the Kenya Cup final in Kakamega for the fifth season running after sealing their top spot in the Kenya Cup standings with a game to spare.

Kabras defeated Blak Blad 24-17 over the weekend to move to 50 points, six points ahead of KCB who lost 21-7 to Menengai Oilers in Nakuru.

According to the rules and regulations, the team that finishes top of the table at the end of the regular season will automatically earn the rights to host the final.

Previously, Kabras have hosted the finals in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

By AFP 14 mins ago
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