The curtains fell on the seventh edition of the Kenya Inter-Counties Sports and Cultural Association (Kicosca) Games in Kericho County on Sunday with perennial rivals Nairobi and Uasin Gishu counties retaining the first and second positions, respectively.
Nairobi garnered 29 points to emerge overall victors, with the “home of champions” Uasin Gishu garnering 14 points. Kisumu were third position with 12 points.
In last years’ competition, Nairobi led with 32 points followed by Uasin Gishu (13) and hosts Kisii (10). Kisii were, however, edged out for third place by Kisumu this time round.
In track and field events, Uasin Gishu led with 186 points while their neighbours Nandi were second with 113 as Narok came third with 95 points.
Kakamega beat West Pokot 2-1 in a hotly-contested football final at a parked Kericho Green Stadium on a sunny and cool Saturday afternoon.
West Pokot were the first to score in the 32nd minute through Dillon Munkenyang before Kakamega’s David Olaka equalized in the 66th.
Well supported Kakamega’s Alfas Khaemba netted the decisive goal in the 78th minute with limping West Pokot players giving up.
Traditional dancers and hundreds of supporters joined the Kakamega team in song and dance on the pitch after the final whistle.
In the play-offs, Uasin Gishu piped Nakuru 4-1 to clinch the third slot through Dennis Abei’s hat-trick. The fourth goal was hammered into the net by Isaiha Kipkemoi while the consolation goal for Nakuru was netted by Kevin Ochieng. In the semi-finals, West Pokot edged out Nakuru 2-0, while Kakamega beat Uasin Gishu 3-2.
Machakos, football’s defending champions, gave up their trophy after failing to turn up for the competition due to failure by the national treasury to release funds to counties as a result of the spat between National Assembly on one side, and the Senate on the other.
In athletics, Narok protested against the overall rankings which placed them third, despite the fact that in their own calculations, they were on top of the league.
“We have officially lodged our complaint with the officials and the issue has been resolved. Competitions are always emotive and people react differently. But we are happy there was no ugly incidence.
“Narok County exhibited a sterling performance, but there is always a winner and a loser in any contest,” said Paul Kariuki, the director of sports at Narok County.
Some of the Narok County fans had attempted to rough up Athletics Kenya officials but were restrained by officials and guards at the Kericho Teachers Training College at around midday.
In ajua, Nairobi scooped top honours followed by Kisumu and Bungoma in second and third positions respectively.
Samburu led in pool table competition (men) followed by Uasin Gishu as Kisumu took third position. At the same time Laikipia were overall winners in tug of war (men) with Nairobi ranked second while Nakuru came in third.
In tug of war (women), Kisii emerged winners while Nairobi came second followed by third-placed Nakuru.
At the closing ceremony, Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony and Kicosca Governing Council chairman Peter Ogalo said all players and officials had exhibited high level of discipline and commitment during the games.
“I am happy we did not experience any incidences of crimes, protests or violence in the games and the participants enjoyed a good hospitality both from the residents and the business community,” said Chepkwony.
“Kericho has been a great host and we are looking forward to the next host county to maintain the tempo and even raise it higher,” Ogalo added.