Final Call For Floodies 2015
I can’t believe that its been two weeks already, can you? This weekend the 34th edition of the Impala Floodlit will be taking its final bow as we crown this year’s champions in the various categories.
The schools’ category will see the defending champions, Laiser Hill take on the immediate former champions, Ofafa Jericho in what is expected to be a cracker of a tie. The two sides have been in commanding form over the last two weekends on their way to this final.
Laiser Hill opened their campaign with a 29-0 win over Lenana School, with Ofafa Jericho beating Nairobi School 18-8. The semi finals weekend saw Laiser Hill beat MFA 37-3, with Ofafa beating Mang’u 27-0.
This will be a replay of last year’s final where Laiser Hill emerged 30-10 winners. Ofafa will be looking to avenge that result and reclaim the title they relinquished last year here. Laiser Hill will be looking to complete a clean sweep of this year’s schools calendar having won every tournament they have played in.
Schools Final: Laiser Hill v Ofafa Jericho 1.00pm
The universities category will be crowning a new champion this year after the Strathmore Catulus dislodged defending champions Blak Blad 27-13 last weekend in the semi finals.
That result will see them meet the 2012 champions USIU, who on their part beat the once revered Floodies specialists Mean Machine 13-6. That was the first time the 9 time Floodies champions were playing in the Universities category. A testament to how far Machine have faded away.
Strathmore have been the on form side this year, the 2013 losing finalists put 47 points to TUK’s 5 in the quarter finals before registering that win over Blad.
USIU have not been badly off either, Dennis Mwanja’s charges made their 3rd Floodie final in 4 years courtesy of 27-16 and 13-6 results over the Catholic Monks and Machine as earlier mentioned. Last year they dramatically crawled back from a 17-3 scoreline in the second half, eventually falling 17-16 to Blak Blad.
This time round they will be looking for a more solid showing in the opening stages and just as strong a finish as they had last year. Expect a closely fought out contest here with both teams knowing how it feels to lose a final here, none will be ready for a repeat.
Universities Final: USIU v Strathmore University 3.00pm
The Club final can be described as an inevitable encounter, looking at the last two editions of this tournament.
The two, KCB and Impala have met in the last two editions in the semi final and quarter final stages respectively. This weekend they complete the cycle, with the little matter of the 2015 Floodies title on the line.
These two have had an almost similar run to this final, with Impala’s probably the more impressive. The hosts blowing away rivals Quins 48-17 in the quarter final before beating the Strathmore Leos 32-5 in the semi final.
On their part, defending champions KCB beat Mwamba 28-0 in the opening weekend, following this up with a nail biting 22-18 result against Homeboyz last weekend.
I doubt that there are any other sides that have met more times in the last three years than these two. This will be the 8th match between Impala and KCB since 2012.Those eight meetings have produced 7 wins for the Lions and one for Impala. That win, 18-0 for the hosts coming in the 2013/14 Kenya cup.
That stat should give the KCB supporters a real boost in confidence going into this final, that is until they realise that Impala smashed an almost similar poor run last weekend against the Leos. The Sarries have been peerless this far, outsmarting and out muscling their opponents with great ease. This however looks like their biggest test yet.
Nato Simiyu has to be my pick for player of the tournament, no matter how the coming weekend pans out. He has been playing some inspired footie in the last two weekends, the hosts will be hoping that he keeps that form going and lead his side to a 7th Floodie title.
If he can replicate his form over the two weekends here, alongside the likes of Sammy Oliech and Robert Aringo, there will be no stopping this Impala side. The forwards led by captain Duncan Ekasi, Joel Omer, Dennis Karani and Paul Oimbo will have to ensure that their backs get quality ball and will have their work cut out for them.
The one man who has come close to matching Nato Simiyu over the past two weekends is KCB’s Darwin Mukidza who has been in imperious form for the Lions. Their major strength as has been over the years, has been in their forwards. The likes of Curtis Lilako, John Ahenda, Oliver Mang’eni, Peter Karia and Elly Mukaizi have been bossing the breakdowns and set pieces for the Lions.
This match up promises to be a cracker in every sense, with potentially titanic battles across the turf. Curtis Lilako will be facing off against former Simbas team mate Dennis Karani, with Joel Omer squaring it out against Elly Mukaisi. Michael Mugo and Nato Simiyu will be up against the new pairing of Felix Wanjala and Ken Andola.
The most exciting match up however promises to be the one between the two full backs, Kenya internationals Darwin Mukidza and Sammy Oliech. It will be a game of very small margins, that could probably head into sudden death, remember the 2014 Enterprise cup semi final?
Club Final: KCB v Resolution Impala Saracens 5.00pm
As you may have noticed, this year’s fixtures will end quite early in the day, and rightfully so, we wont want to miss the Rugby world cup final now would we? The Organisers have arranged the screening for the screening on the big final immediately after this other final, so lets meet at Impala and have enjoy the 4 finals.