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Blazers on course for record 22nd title

Sunday November 17 2019

Kenyatta University's Gloria Juma (left) vies for the ball with Blazers' Rachel Ousa during their Kenya Hockey Union Women Premier League match at City Park Stadium on November 17, 2019 Blazers won 2-1. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenyatta University's Gloria Juma (left) vies for the ball with Blazers' Rachel Ousa during their Kenya Hockey Union Women Premier League match at City Park Stadium on November 17, 2019 Blazers won 2-1. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AGNES MAKHANDIA
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
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Blazers, formerly Telkom are on the verge of being crowned this year's Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League champions.

Jos Openda's charges inched closer to their record-extending 22nd title after a nervy 2-1 win over Kenyatta University at the City Park Stadium on Sunday.

Barbara Simiyu opened the scoring in the fourth minute before Gloria Juma levelled in the 47th. Caroline Guchu sounded the board a minute later to seal the win for the back-to-back champions.

Blazers need only a win in their remaining two matches against Sliders and United States International University of Africa (USIU-A).

The record champions are unbeaten with 32 points from 12 matches, while USIU-A are second with 26 points and also have two games in hand.

Openda said focus now shifts to the Africa Club Championships slated for December 1 to 8 in Ismailia, Egypt.

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“We were not at our best today but I’m glad we won the match. On paper, we have retained the title and booked a spot in the next year’s club championship. We will use the remaining ties as build up for Club Championships,” said Openda who urged corporates to provide financial support as they prepare to defend their continental title. “We have managed to raise Sh1 million shillings but our budget is Sh3.5 million. We are appealing to individuals and companies to help us grace the event."

Telecommunications company Telkom withdrew their sponsorship in June.

KU coach Richard Wandera said: “We are encouraged by the fact that they scored seven goals in the first leg but today they struggled to win. That shows improvement. We want to build on this performance in remaining matches.”

Meanwhile, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) recorded their first win of the season after edging Sliders 1-0 in another women’s Premier League tie at the same venue.

Eileen Akinyi’s first half goal in the 11th minute is all the students needed to bag three points.

JKUAT, who are bottom with five points from 13 matches, will play their last match against Amira Sailors next weekend.

Blazers, who were pre-match favourites, lived up to expectations scoring barely four minutes into play through Simiyu’s field goal.

KU grew in confidence and matched their opponents but failed to score as Blazer led 1-0 at the breather. Wandera’s pep talk during half-time worked as the students returned a different side and Juma capped their resurgence with a penalty corner in 47th. Their joy was short-lived as Guchu handed Blazers the win moments later.

RESULTS

Blazers 2-1 KU

JKUAT 1-0 Amira Sailors

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