Champions again: Near-perfect Kenya Police recapture hockey title

Saturday January 13 2018

Kenya Police players celebrate at the end of their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match against Kenyatta University after which they were crowned the league champions on January 13, 2017 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya Police players celebrate at the end of their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match against Kenyatta University after which they were crowned the league champions on January 13, 2017 at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN YONGA
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Kenya Police on Saturday clinched the Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League in style after a 6-1 rout of Kenyatta University (KU) Vultures at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

The win sealed Police's first title since 2013 and their second in the club's history. The result took their tally to the season to 73 points with two matches left.

The final whistle drew wild celebrations from the Police players and their technical bench to what has been an emphatic season which has seen them win 24 matches, lost one and drawn another.

An elated Police coach Kenneth Kaunda hugged his players and applauded his technical bench. Kaunda missed the better part of the first leg due to illness but returned to oversee an impressive campaign.

"I am so happy for my players, this is a great achievement. We have been the best team this season and it is only right that we are crowned champions," Kaunda told Nation Sport.

"We have had heartbreaks over the past few years and at times fell short but finally we have captured the title and the team should be proud of its achievements," Kaunda added.

Police needed only two minutes to go ahead as international Willis Okeyo finished off Oliver Echenje's dragged short corner past Vultures keeper Dennis Barasa.

The goal stunned the students and they went all out in search of the equaliser but their attacks were thwarted by a steel wall Police defence.

The law enforcers doubled their lead five minutes into the second quarter after top scorer Amos Barkibir finished off another short corner. Four minutes later, veteran striker Moses Cheplaiti made it 3-0 from the team's third short corner of the match.

Police continued their onslaught in the third quarter and international Samuel Wokila made it four through a brilliant field goal. Vultures lacked ideas going forward and their ruthless opponents would pick them out on the counter attack in the 40th minute through Calvins Kanu's superb chip.

Samoan Kibirir scored the sixth goal eight minutes to the end to cap off a resounding result for his side. The students scored a last minute consolation goal through Samuel Maina.

The students, who are in danger of relegation, remain second from bottom with 22 points. Police can improve on their tally with a win against Wazalendo on Sunday at the same venue.

Telkom are poised to win the women's Premier League on Sunday when they take on Multimedia University. They need a point to win a record 20th title.

In a women's Premier League match on Saturday, Strathmore University Scorpions enhanced their chances of finishing second after they beat KU Titans 4-0 at the City Park Stadium. A brace from Gilly Okumu and a goal each from Lucy Wanjiku and Carol Njoki sealed the win.