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Unbeaten Warriors maintain top spot

Monday September 9 2019

Kenya Police captain Oliver Echenje (left) vies for the ball with Butali's Francis Kariuki during their Kenya Hockey Union Men's Premier League match at City Park, Nairobi on April 20, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Kenya Police captain Oliver Echenje (left) vies for the ball with Butali's Francis Kariuki during their Kenya Hockey Union Men's Premier League match at City Park, Nairobi on April 20, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATON MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Defending champions Butali Sugar Warriors upheld their one point lead at top of the men’s hockey Premier League standings thanks to their 1-0 victory over old foes Kenya Police on Sunday at City Park Stadium.

Butali needed Francis Kariuki’s 44th minute field goal to humble Kenya Police for the second time this season, a victory that enabled them uphold their unbeaten run and improve their tally to 24 points.

Butali had in the first leg beaten Police 2-1 and the loss again saw Police, who are embracing a lukewarm season, stay fourth in the log with 18 points. Butali have seven wins and three draws, while Police have five wins, three draws and a similar number of losses.

Wazalendo, who had last Wednesday edged out United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) 2-1, faltered on Sunday, going down 2-1 to a rejuvenated Strathmore University Gladiators.

It’s a weekend that saw Nairobi Simbas' woes continue, sinking to relegation zone after they lost to USIU-A 1-0 at City Park, as Western Jaguars forced visiting Green Sharks to a 1-1 draw in Kakamega.

Wazalendo and Greensharks stay third and fourth in the log with 23 and 20 points respectively. Wazalendo have seven wins, two draws and three loses, while Greensharks, who have been successful in six outings, have two draws and three defeats.

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“My players expressed themselves better than the other matches but strange enough we didn’t score more goals,” said Butali Sugar coach Dennis Owoka.

”Something also needs to be done to the playing surface at City Park since it is getting worse every day and teams can’t execute short corners well.”

However, Owoka said that will not stop his team from their main target of retaining the Premier League title, besides eying the continental clubs' crown later in December.

Job Ogaso put Strathmore ahead against Wazalendo in the 21st minute, before Darius Apali’s field goal in 45th minute stretched their lead. Erick Ochieng’s strike off a penalty corner in the 50th reduced the deficit for the resurgent Wazalendo.

Richard Wandera’s 50th goal is what USIU-A needed to stop Nairobi Simba. USIU-A stay seventh and a place above relegation with 13 points, while Nairobi Simba are ninth in the 10-team league with seven points, having only won once.

Strathmore University’s Scorpions edged out Titans from Kenyatta University 1-0 on Saturday at City Park Stadium to move one place to second in women’s Premier League.

Winnie Odongo's sizzling field goal five minutes into the second quarter was what Scorpions needed to hit Titans in the rather scrappy duel to claim the bragging rights.

The victory might have seen Scorpions scale one place to second in the league with a total 15 point, but their head Meshak Senge wasn’t impressed by the display especially after they beat Titans 3-1 in the first leg.

“It was simply an awful display and miles away from what I wanted them to play,” said Senge.

“We made many technical mistakes in terms of managing possession and passes. We were in a hurry and it was an eyesore watching.”

Defending champions Telkom, who rested over the weekend, are perched at the top of the standings with 26 points, having not lost any match. They have eight wins and two draws.

USIU-A Spartans dropped one place to third with 14 points drawn from four wins, two draws and a loss.

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