Champions Butali Sugar Warriors scored in each half to edge out Kenya Police 2-1 in a pulsating men’s hockey Premier match at City Park Stadium on Saturday.
Earlier on at the same venue, Abraham Musee slotted home from the spot with three minutes to go to spur newcomers Sailors to a stunning 3-2 victory against former champions Strathmore Gladiators.
Amos Barkibir scored against his former side in the 54th minute after Police failed to clear their lines to hand Butali victory.
After a scoreless first quarter where Police squandered two open chances, the evergreen Zack Aura of Butali would show his mettle, tearing through the left before chalking a superb pass to Barnabas Odhiambo, who smashed in the opener in the 24th minute.
The teams went for the half time pep talk with Butali ahead 1-0.
The relentless Police went for some lovely build up with Derrick Juma putting through Oliver Echenje to level 41 minutes. Police then committed a school-boy error, failing to clear their lines that allowed Barkibir to fire home.
Police got a penalty corner with four seconds to go, but once again Butali custodian Linus Sang stood firm to parry out Samuel Oungo’s drag-shot as the hooter sounded.
“It was a top quality duel as expected and much respect to Police, who have shown that they are title contenders," said Butali Sugar coach Dennis Owoka. “We were well prepared but Police showed much resilience and good marking.”
Kenya Police coach Patrick Mugambi hailed his charges for their good display, saying a draw would have been a fair result after they created more opportunities than Butali.
“They used their few chances effectively and that is what counts at the end of the day,” explained Mugambi, who blamed lack of concentration for the two goals. “We were underrated after we lost our key players but we staged a standout show.”
Captain Festus Onyango broke the deadlock to give Strathmore the lead from the penalty spot in the 41st minute. Douglas Nyerere then levelled for Sailors from a penalty corner in the 47th minute before Victor Kumwenda gave the Sailors lead from a field goal in the 51st minute.
Alpha Musambi then levelled for Strathmore four minutes later from a field goal before Musee’s winning goal for Sailors.
In men’s Super League, Parkroad Badgers crushed Kenyatta University 4-1 while Multimedia University edged out Impala 2-0.
Father and son, David Omwaka and Mathis Gularire scored as Parkroad Tigers thrashed Gorillas 6-2 in men’s National League where Thika Rovers beat Wazalendo Youth 1-0.
Vikings and Oranje Leonas battled to a 1-1 draw in a women’s Super League duel at the City Park Stadium.