IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA
Kwanthanze Secondary School Sunday led other Kenyan sides in impressive displays on day three of the 18th edition of the East Africa Secondary Schools Games across different venues here.
There were also wins for Moi Girls Kamusinga Secondary School, Kimilili Boys Secondary School and Dagoretti High School in handball and rugby 15s respectively.
Reigning girls' volleyball champions Kwanthanze set the ball rolling with an impressive 3-0 (25-14, 25-19,25-17) win over arch-rivals St Alloys from Rwanda in their pool 'A' opener at the Tanzania Game and Track (TGT) Safari grounds.
Kwanthanze, who are looking for a fifth overall title and third in a row, were impressive from the onset as their opponents struggled to deal with their powerful serves.
The match was a repeat of the 2017 final and also last year's opening pool match both of which were won by the Kenyan side.
The 2017 losing finalists were outclassed in the opening set as Kwanthanze imposed themselves in the match. However, they improved in the next two sets giving a decent account, but Kwanthanze just had too much ammunition in this contest. Kwanthanze coach Justin Kigwari was rather surprised by his opponents' poor showing, having had close encounters in the past.
"This is a team we have faced in the past and I am shocked their game is on the decline. I anticipated a close game but it was rather straight forward," Kigwari said.
Kwanthanze face Tanzanian side Mkalapa High School in their second match on Monday afternoon and a win will put them in the last four.
In boys' volleyball, Kenya's Lelmokwo Secondary School lost for the second successive day as they went down 3-1(20-25,25-15,15-25,21-25) to Rwanda's Don Bosco Gatenga.
Kimilili Boys and Moi Girls Kamusinga were victorious in their handball matches of the day at the TGT grounds. Kimilili bounced back from their opening 29-28 defeat to champions ES Kigoma of Rwanda on Saturday, downing Tanzania's Vwawa High School 33-12 on Sunday.
Joseph Wafula starred for the Kenyan champions with 10 goals as they led 19-8 at the break. Kamusinga on their part, beat ES Kiziguro of Rwanda 21-15 in their opener. Naomi Mawala's five goals helped the Kenyan side to victory. Kamusinga had taken a slim 9-8 lead at halftime.
"It is always good to get a good start and we will build on that in our coming matches. We got tired towards the end but the result was never in doubt," said Kamusinga coach Geoffrey Simiyu.
In rugby 15s, Dagoretti High School were in imperious form as they saw off compatriots Kangaru Boys High School 32-5 in their second match.
The sides were tied 5-5 at halftime but a strong second half display by Dagoretti saw them win. Skipper Benson Salem led from the front with three tries and one conversion, with Gilbert Odhiambo, Gravine George and Kimani Njenga adding the extras.
"Two wins from two matches gives us the confidence that we can go all the way and win gold in this competition," Salem said.
In football, Dagoretti's debut at these games ended in a 1-1 draw against Ruwiko Secondary School of Tanzania. Paul Odhiambo fired the Kenyan side ahead in the eighth minute, but the Tanzanians hit back with Neva Kiboma's header in the 75th.
In girls' football, Kenya's Itigo Girls High School also settled for a 1-1 draw with Tanzania's Alliance High School. Eunice Jepleting's 24th minute screamer cancelled out Aisha Hamisi's 15th minute opener for the hosts.
St Anthony’s (Kenya) v Buddo SS (Uganda)
Kiheza (Tanzania) v Archbishop Njenga (Kenya)
Nyakach (Kenya) v Mukono High (Uganda)
Itigo (Kenya) v Remera Rukoma (Kenya)
Dagoretti High (Kenya) v Serema CH (Uganda)
Juhudi (Tanzania) v Laiser Hill (Kenya)
Kaya Tiwi (Kenya) v Okeeswa (Tanzania)
Buruburu (Kenya) v Machame (Tanzania)
IPRC Karongi (Rwanda) v Mogonga PAG (Kenya)
Lelmokwo (Kenya) PS Karubanda (Rwanda)
Trust High (Uganda) v Cheptil (Kenya)
Makongo (Tanzania) v Soweto (Kenya)
Mkapala (Tanzania) v Kwanthanze (Kenya)
Mbooni (Kenya) v College Gisenyi (Rwanda)
Mwanakwerekwe (Zanzibar) v St Luke’s Kimilili (Kenya)
St Joseph’s Kirandich (Kenya) v Kawanda SS (Uganda)
Moi Girls Kamusinga (Kenya) v Kibuli SS (Uganda)
Kakamega High v Dagoretti High
St Mary’s Kisubi (Uganda) v Kangaru (Kenya)
Friends School Kamusinga (Kenya) v St Mary’s Kisubi (Uganda)
Meru School (Kenya) v Ntare School (Uganda)
Namilyango College (Uganda) v St Anthony’s (Kenya)
Misikhu (Kenya) v Old Kampala (Uganda)
Nyakach (Kenya) v Misungwi (Tanzania)