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Kenya Police seek to extend lead with win over Parklands

Friday April 21 2017

Oliver Echenje of Kenya Police drives the ball during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match against Greensharks at City Park Stadium on April 9, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

Oliver Echenje of Kenya Police drives the ball during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match against Greensharks at City Park Stadium on April 9, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN YONGA
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Leaders Kenya Police will be looking to maintain their good start to the season when they take on Parklands Club Saturday afternoon in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at City Park Stadium.

The fixture is one of 10 matches lined up this weekend. Women’s champions Telkom Orange looking to make it five wins in as many matches when they face Vikings on Sunday.

Kenya Police, the 2013 league champions, are on a roll after winning all the three matches they have played so far this season.

Saturday’s encounter will provide Police with the opportunity to increase their lead as they look to reclaim the title.

The law enforcers managed a hard-fought 1-0 win over second-placed Greensharks two weeks ago but will be aiming for more goals against Parklands.

Police assistant coach Patrick Mugambi will again take charge of the team in the absence of head coach Kenneth Kaunda, who is unwell. The tactician is looking for early goals so as to take the pressure off his team.

“Parklands defend in numbers and are generally solid at the back therefore we will need to be patient and be smart in how we attack,” Mugambi said.

Mugambi will rely on attackers Moses Cheplaiti and Calvins Kanu for the goals with skipper Oliver Echenje and Willis Okeyo tasked with creating the chances for the front two.

Parklands have just one point from their opening three matches and will be out to claim their first win of the season. Parklands coach Kamal Singh is wary of Police’s forward players.

"We will have to maintain our concentration throughout the match. Our strategy is to catch them on fast breaks and slow down their build up play because they are very good going forward,” said Singh.

The game will be preceded by the clash between Greensharks and Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCA-U).

In the women’s league, Orange already appear unstoppable after four convincing wins so far. Last weekend, they beat arch-rivals Strathmore University Gladiators 2-0 before thumping debutantes University of Nairobi 11-0 to move six points clear at the top.

Orange coach Jos Openda has called for more of the same this weekend.

“Our target this season is to win the league without conceding. Last weekend’s results buoyed us and the players are hungry for more wins,” he said.
Orange attacking midfielder Lillian Aura is the only doubt after spraining her ankle last weekend.

Vikings will be buoyed by Monday’s 2-1 win over Sliders, their first victory of the season. Vikings team manager Mary Aran is confident her team can surprise the champions.

“They have very good players but we aim to contain them in midfield and hopefully give ourselves a chance,” Aran said. Dependable defender Carol Okoth and Bancy Wawira are doubtful for Sunday’s tie.

FIXTURES (All matches at City Park Stadium)

Saturday

Premier Men: Green Sharks v KCA-U (12 noon), Kenya Police v Parklands Sports Club (2pm)

Premier Women: Sliders v Mombasa Sports Club (4 pm)

National Men: Park Road Tigers v Mombasa West (6 pm)

Sunday

Premier Women: Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology v Mombasa Sports Club (9 am), Telkom Orange v Vikings (1 pm)

National Men: Gorilla v Mombasa West (11 am), Wazalendo Masters v Daystar University (5 pm)

Premier Men: Kenyatta University v Technical University of Kenya (3pm)