SCHOOLS: Wheat separated from chaff as games enter semis

Debra Cherotich of Kisumu Girls tackle Cynthia Nasike of St Joseph's Girls during Kenya Secondary Schools sports Association Term One games in Machakos County. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Defending champions in hockey, handball, basketball and rugby all booked their semi-final spots at the Brookside KSSSA National Term One games set to end on Saturday in Machakos after winning their final preliminary group matches on Thursday.

National rugby defending champions Butula Boys saw off All Saints Embu 12-9 to top Group A and qualify for the semis alongside All Saints Embu as Nyanza champions Kisii School and St Patrick’s Iten were sent packing.

Butula finished top with 11 points followed by All Saints with 10 points while Kisii School went home with seven points and Iten without a point.

“We started the championships rather slowly after the draw against Kisii School, a draw I could say was beneficial to us since we had to change our tactics and be more ruthless and clinical.

“It is not yet done and we are looking forward to the semi,” said Butula coach Fredrick Shimenga.

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.

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 as Rift Valley champions St Joseph Girls Kitale take on Tigoi Girls High School from Western.

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

In handball, debutants Ulanda Girls from Migori County surprised many by qualifying for the semifinals on their first attempt at the national games.

The Nyanza Region champions will now face off against Kamusinga in the semis while Mirundiko play Kwanthanze.

Defending champions Hospital Hill booked a date with Mbooni in the semis as Saniak are set to face off against Kimilili.

“The boys have been playing well as expected during the preliminary stages and I am happy with what I am seeing. We however need to exercise caution and be even more clinical in the semis because the further you go the tougher it becomes,” said Hospital Hill coach Emmanuel Wabule.

In basketball, defending champions Butere Girls will face off against Kaya Tiwi in the last four in what will be a rematch of last year’s final that the Western Region heavyweights won.

On the other hand, Buruburu Girls will play Nasokol.

Brookside KSSSA national semifinals

Hockey

Girls

Nyamira Girls v Mpesa Foundation

St Joseph Kitale v Tigoi Girls

Boys

Musingu School v St Charles Lwanga

St Anthony’s Kitale v Nairobi School

Handball

Boys

Mbooni v Hospital Hill

Saniak v Kimilili

Girls

Mirundiko v Kwanthanze

Kamusinga v Ulanda

Basketball

Girls

Kaya Tiwi v Butere Girls

Buruburu Girls v Nasokol

Boys

Dr Aggrey v Laiser Hill

Dagoreti v Agoro Sare

Rugby

Kitondo v Butula

All Saints v Lenana

By AFP 19 hrs ago
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