Saturday, September 26, 2009

Impala Kenya Cup champions

Impala Rugby Football Club’s Vincent Mose is tackled by Kenya Harlequin’s Victor Odour as Patrice Agunda (left) looks on during their Kenya Cup rugby league match at the RFUEA ground in Nairobi on Saturday. Impala won the match 13-5 to take the Kenya Cup title. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO

Impala Rugby Football Club’s Vincent Mose is tackled by Kenya Harlequin’s Victor Odour as Patrice Agunda (left) looks on during their Kenya Cup rugby league match at the RFUEA ground in Nairobi on Saturday. Impala won the match 13-5 to take the Kenya Cup title. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO  

By CHARLES NYENDE

Impala are the new Kenya Cup champions. They won their first title since 2004 by beating Kenya Harlequin 13-5 at Rugby Football Union of East Africa ground on a tension filled final day of the league.

Scrumhalf Moses Kola scored a try and converted, and added a penalty while flyhalf Peter Ochola dropped a goal for Impala. Harlequin replied through a try by flanker victor Oduor.

Impala needed to win with a bonus point to guarantee they clinched the league title. They did not get the bonus point but it did not matter after KCB, could only manage a 14-7 victory against Nakuru at Nakuru Athletic Club.

For KCB to steal the title from Impala they needed a bonus point win.

“We have waited for a long time for this. Many times we have come so close only for the title to slip away. I just told the boys to stay composed and concentrate in winning the game and we did it,” elated Impala coach Charles Ngovi said.

The Impala versus Quins fight, watched by a fair crowd, started on a tentative note with plenty of kicking as both teams played for territory.

Impala were the first to draw blood in the ninth minute when Kola, hugely influential on the afternoon, calmly slotted a penalty from 30 metres.

Quins got a penalty well inside enemy territory 10 minutes later put opted to go for touch and the opportunity was wasted.

Patrice Agunda was made to rue his missed penalty minutes later when impala showed just how they were dangerous in open play.

Fullback Nato Simiyu, cool as a cucumber all afternoon, collect a high ball in his own 22 and launched a counter, running a good 20 meteres before switching with the supporting Vincent Mose who chipped and chased.

The under pressure Quins cover defence attempted to clear but Kola was there to charge down and dive over for the first try of the match. He converted to give the red shirts a 10-0 half time lead.

Flanker Victor Oduor came back from the sin bin in the second half to touch down after relentless flowing maul by the Quins pack.

Hooker Vincent Ongare was denied a try late in the second half when Nato Simiyu prevented him from grounding the ball as Quins made a late charge to safe the match.

Ochola made sure of victory for Impala with a well struck long range drop goal.