SCHOOL: Musingu and Tigoi Girls show their class in schools hockey

National Girls Hockey champions Tigoi Girls celebrate during Kenya Secondary Schools sports Association Term One games in Machakos County. April 13, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Western region schools stamped their authority in school hockey at the 2024 Brookside Kenyan Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) National Term One games that ended in Machakos on Saturday.

In what turned out to be a gripping showcase of skill and strategy, Musingu High School and Tigoi Girls High School emerged as champions in the boys’ and girls’ hockey categories.

The dominance of these teams from Western Kenya was clearly evident as they outplayed their counterparts from regions such as Nyanza, Rift Valley, Eastern, Coast, North Eastern, Nairobi and Central.

Kakamega County’s Musingu High School clinched a second consecutive national title, cementing their status as a powerhouse in hockey after ending a 26-year title drought last year.

St Anthony's Captain Linton Nayombe and Peter Wachira of Musingu Boys during Kenya Secondary Schools sports Association Hockey match Term One games in Machakos County. April 13, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Their victory was hard-fought, especially considering an earlier loss in the tournament. Musingu had previously succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against St. Anthony’s during the preliminary rounds, but they turned the tables in the finals with a thrilling 3-2 victory.

Goals from Hillary Angarwa, Cliance Chami, and Jesse Munyando sealed the win, while St. Anthony’s managed to find the net through Leslie Naspan and Linton Nayombe.

Musingu’s coach, Benson Wabuyabo, elated by his team’s performance, credited the success to resilience and determination under pressure.

“It was a tough journey, but our boys stayed focused and showed character,” said Wabuyabo. “The pressure to defend our title was immense, but we believed in our abilities and executed our game plan effectively.”

Tigoi Girls Celebrate their win against Nyamira Girls during Kenya Secondary Schools sports Association Hockey match Term One games in Machakos County. April 13, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

In the girls’ category, Tigoi Girls High School from Vihiga County stunned reigning champions Nyamira Girls to capture an inaugural national hockey title. Tigoi’s explosive start, racing to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter through Trizah Awuor’s clinical short-corner strikes, set the tone for their victory.

Despite Nyamira Girls pulling one back with an Amanda Wamalwa penalty flick in the second quarter, Tigoi Girls maintained their composure to secure a historic win.

Coach Moses Wawire Erima highlighted their ability to handle pressure and overcome a formidable opponent that had previously been a major obstacle. “We knew Nyamira Girls would be tough, especially given their recent successes,” Erima said. “Our players executed our game plan brilliantly, and their determination paid off.”

Coach Moses Erima of Tigoi Girls' Hockey team celebrate during Kenya Secondary Schools sports Association Term One games in Machakos County. April 13, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The triumph of Musingu High School and Tigoi Girls High School underscores the Western Region’s dominance in school hockey, showcasing a rich tradition of talent and dedication to the sport.

As Musingu and Tigoi revel in their victories, the spotlight now shifts to East Africa games this coming August, where these teams will undoubtedly be ones to watch.

With Western Region teams setting the benchmark in school hockey, their achievements serve as inspiration for aspiring athletes across the country.

By AFP 1 hr ago
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