KCB Overcome Dramatic Day One To Lift Kakamega 7s Title
KCB ended a two year wait for a win at the sevens series, this past weekend after picking up the inaugural Kakamega sevens title in dramatic fashion at the Bull ring.
The Lions completed day one action with wins over MMUST (36-0), Kisii (41-0) and Kabras (29-7), to see them finish top of Pool C and progress to the cup quarterfinal alongside MMUST who had edged out Kabras to finish second in the pool. The two were joined by Menengai Cream Homeboyz RFC, Resolution Impala, Stanbic Mwamba, Nondies,Top Fry Nakuru and the Strathmore Leos.
Like KCB, Nakuru and Mwamba finished day one action unscathed, with Homeboyz and Impala playing out to a 12 all draw in the last round of matches in Pool A. Alongside MMUST, the Strathmore Leos and Nondies had been impressive, handing their respective pool leaders a real run for their money.
As the rain started pounding on the Kakamega grounds at the end of day one action, so did it on the KCB Lions, as a complaint was raised by Homeboyz RFC on the eligibility of their former player, Johnstone Olindi who alongside Levy Amunga and Shadon Munoko had made their debuts for the Lions. A decision was reached by KRU and communication sent out that KCB had been docked all points and would drop to the Challenge trophy, with Kabras replacing them in the Cup draw.
Upon review of the documents presented in an appeal by KCB, KRU rescinded the decision and restored the Lions to the cup draw.
The day two draw had served up some exciting fixtures, key among them a battle between Kabras and Kenya Harlequins in the Challenge trophy quarter finals, after a tough day one for both teams. The Oilers would make easy pickings of Kisumu in the first Challenge trophy quarter final, with Egerton and Machine seeing off Kisii and Western Bulls respectively. Kabras would get past Quins courtesy of a 26-5 result.
In the cup, Homeboyz got over a stubborn Nondies 15-5, with Nakuru blowing past MMUST 22-12, Mwamba were made to sweat it out against a stubborn Impala side, before progressing to the semi finals off a 5-3 scoreline as KCB got over a tricky Strathmore Leos 28-12.
Kisii would edge out Kisumu RFC 14-12 to book a 13th place final encounter against hosts Western Bulls after the Echulusi compounded the Quin’s misery at Kakamega with a 10-7 result. It was a similar story of doom and gloom for Kabras as they went down 31-0 to Mean Machine in the Challenge trophy semi finals, with the Oilers getting past Egerton 10-0.
Soon after, Nondies edged past a spirited MMUST side to book a 5th place final against Strathmore who beat Impala 17-5. In the cup competition, Homeboyz blanked out Nakuru 20-0 to book a final berth against an Olindi-Onyala inspired KCB, who beat Mwamba 19-5 in the other semi final.
The Western Bulls would go on to finish in 13th place, with the Oilers picking up the Challenge trophy after seeing off Machine 17-5. The Leos ended a promising run in the tournament with the 5th placed trophy after battling to a 21-19 result against an equally promising Nondies outfit. Mwamba quickly got over their defeat to claim the bronze trophy with a 24-0 blanking of Nakuru RFC.
In the big dance, KCB were first over the chalk, breaking the deadlock through Onyala’s converted try, after what had been a cagey start. Collins Shikoli would level things with a try at the buzzer to make it 7 all at the break. Olindi who had a blinder of a debut kept his great form going with a converted try upon resumption of play, Onyala would seal the win for KCB alongside his top try scorer, top point scorer and MVP awards with a try on the 6 minute mark.
A late charge by Homeboyz saw them score an unconverted try to take the final score to 21-12, ending a two year wait for a sevens title by the bankers, their last win coming at the 2017 Prinsloo sevens.
In the second division the Northern Suburb Curbs booked their place at the big boys’ table at the Kabeberi sevens after beating Blak Blad 21-10, to lift the overall title. There were also wins for Mombasa RFC and Vihiga Granites. The quartet of Western Bulls, Kisii, Kisumu and Quins were left to chase the valuable Kabeberi sevens division one invitation letter.
It was an superb start to the 2019 Stanbic National sevens, it had everything one could ask for, tales of underdogs, midnight drama, great banter, surrounded by hospitality that only Kakamega could offer. A big shout out to the organisers for pulling this one off, we can’t wait to see what Meru has in store for us!