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Strathmore Gladiators break hockey league duck

Sunday June 16 2019

Diana Akinyi (left) of Strathmore Scorpions tussles with Agriphina Misoi of USIU Spartans during their Premier League match at City Park in Nairobi on June 16, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Diana Akinyi (left) of Strathmore Scorpions tussles with Agriphina Misoi of USIU Spartans during their Premier League match at City Park in Nairobi on June 16, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Former champions Strathmore University Gladiators finally managed their first win of the season when they outlasted Greensharks 4-2 in a pulsating men’s Premier League hockey duel Sunday at City Park Stadium in Nairobi.

Earlier, Strathmore University Scorpions and United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) Spartans battled to a goalless draw in a women’s Premier League fixture at the same venue.

However, Gladiators still remained in the relegation zone having only climbed one place from the bottom of the 10-team table to ninth with four points while Greensharks stayed fifth with nine points.

The previous day, Wazalendo had forced champions Butali Sugar Warriors to a 1-1 draw, a results that still saw the Western Kenya sugar men go one point clear at the top with 13 points.

Wazalendo, who had previous lost to Western Jaguars 2-0, stayed third but with an improved tally of 13 points, similar with Jaguars, who are second with a superior goal difference.

Gladiators skipper Festus Onyango scored in the opening minute from field play as second quarter field goals from Jerry Ogaso (23rd) and Edgar Makete (30th) put Strathmore ahead 3-0 at the break.

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Then Chris Wokila’s brace of goals in including a penalty shot in 37th and 39th minute’s brought Greensharks back in the game, training 3-2.

However, Onyango would complete his double a minute to full time to hand Gladiators, the two-time champions three points and their first win in six outings this season.

“We made some tactical switch from what we have been doing and it worked well the first half,” said Gladiators coach Meshak Senge, adding that the victory has given his boys confidence and self-belief.

“The victory it means a lot and it shows we are growing in confidence and have something to build on.”

Senge, who is also handling Scorpions, rued the many missed scoring opportunities. “Sometimes you need luck to win some matches,” said Senge.

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