Lions Grab Floodies 3-Peat
KCB picked up their third Floodies title in a row at the weekend, beating hosts Impala 26-14 in a closely fought out final, despite what that score suggests.
Laiser Hill Academy also successfully defended their school’s category title, after beating Ofafa Jericho 24-7 in the final. That Floodie title a feather in the cap of this all dominating Laiser Hill side. The boys from Rongai were in a class of their own in this final, like they have been through out the year.
Leading 10-0 at half time, Laiser Hill put the game to bed inside the first quarter of the second half, stretching that lead to 24-0 before Ofafa grabbed a late consolation for their brave efforts.
The surprise of the day came in the Universities final, where 2012 champions USIU stunned the favourites to this year’s title Strathmore. USIU were quicker off the blocks, racing to a 22-3 half time lead, their intensity a bit too much for Strathmore to handle.
Strathmore came out throwing the whole kitchen set at USIU, the Thika super highway boys doing well to hold this early barrage off. At some point in the second half it looked like a Strathmore come back was on the cards having made it 22-10. But it was not to be as USIU scored a further try and a penalty with Strathmore scoring a further 10 points for a 30-20 full time result.
The club final was an encounter befitting of any final, as back to back champions KCB squared it out against hosts Impala.
Having not reached a final since 2010, Impala clearly showed that they had longed to play in a Floodies final. That man Nato Simiyu was again in the middle of everything great that came from Impala. Linking up with Robert Aringo in a move that saw Paul Oimbo go over with Oliech converting for a 7-0 lead.
The Lions saw an opportunity to narrow that deficit fly wide off Ken Andola’s penalty, they however were on the board minutes later off Darwin’s boot to make it 7-3. It was however all Impala in the opening exchanges, with KCB struggling to keep any momentum going.
It was soon 14-3, after an Eric Kerre try and Oliech conversion. KCB were stunned, their kick off reception was all over the place, Sydney Muniafu combining well with Nato Simiyu. Robert Aringo and Samuel Motari were causing their opposite numbers a load of problems, it looked like it was going to be a long day for the Lions.
They however started picking themselves up slowly, Darwin Mukidza adding another 3 points off a penalty to make it 14-6. KCB were now growing in stature especially in the forwards as they now dominated the break downs and set pieces.
Impala saw a chance to break even further go, from a Sammy Oliech penalty. Minutes later, KCB had their first try, Elly Mukaisi grounding off a maul, with Mukidza converting to make it 14-13. A score that would hold till the breather.
The final was living up to its expectations, with a classic see-saw battle ensuing. While KCB took a little longer to settle in they found their footing just in time through their forwards. Impala’s backs were exceptional, poking holes at the KCB defence at will. Both sides could have scored more points from their periods of dominance, the second half came with loads of promise.
The second half saw KCB pick up from where they left off, piling the pressure on the Impala forwards and with these their backs starting to flourish. Mukidza would hand his side the lead for the first time in the match, from a penalty that took the score to 16-14.
Soon after it went from bad to worse for Impala as they saw Robert Aringo sit out the nest ten minutes on the sinners chair for a tackle in the air. Like any good side the Lions made their numerical advantage count immediately, Mukaisi going over for his brace off another rolling maul to make it 21-14.
Impala would not let this game go, as they kept possession tidily as they looked to see off the ten minute period, without conceding any further points. This they managed to do, keeping the Lions at bay from every attempt. Aringo’s return saw Impala engage the next gear, with KCB now soaking up the pressure.
The Lions did well to hold off Impala’s charge aided by the same thing that befell them early in the first half, the inability to finish off a move. They would soon kill off the game, some intricate inter-play from Andrew Amonde and Edwin Salamba, just inside their half set the ball rolling for the final kill.
Another rolling maul, another Elly Mukaisi try, this one seeing the Lions back row not only seal the Floodies title but also bag the top try scorer’s trophy. Full time score, KCB 26-14 Impala.
Oliech picked up the top scorer’s award, as Darwin Mukidza bagged his umpteenth MVP award. The 34th edition of Floodies gave us a few pointers heading into the Kenya cup season, for one KCB still look like they got it, despite any fears of the opposite.
The Djs will be a real handful, given their displays here, especially in the forwards finally Impala look set for their best season in a while. For once, they looked like a complete side, though they still have a few things to look at they are definitely better off than last season.
Bring on the Kenya Cup!