Skipper Philadelphia Olando landed a hat-trick of tries as Kenya Lionesses whipped Uganda's She Cranes 42-13 in the first leg of the 2019 Elgon Cup at Mamboleo Showgrounds in Kisumu on Saturday.
The women's action, which curtain-raised the men's one slated for 4pm at the same venue, was making a return after missing out since 2015 due to logistical challenges.
She Cranes almost took the lead on six minutes, when a Kenyan Lioness player dropped the ball in the 22m zone, the hosts recovering on time to clear the danger.
Uganda were reduced to 14 moments later and Kenya capitalised on the advantage to take a 5-0 lead on the 17th minute through Grace Adhiambo. Irene Atieno missed the conversion.
Olando sent the home supporters into wild celebrations four minutes later when she broke near the try area to cross the line easily, Atieno redeeming herself with a successful conversion to stretch the lead to 12-0. Olando grabbed a brace on 25 minutes after a beautiful exchange on the left flank.
They missed the conversion.
The visitors attempted to respond but the host's defence stood tall. On the the 35th and 39th minutes, Celestine Osinde and Janet Okello landed two other tries to give the Lioness a comfortable 27-0 lead at the break. They were unsuccessful with the resultant conversions.
In the second-half, Lioness continued to dominate the duel, their efforts paying off immediately when Olando capitalised on a defensive lapse to score, her compatriot Sophia Ayieta adding another in the 58th minute.
Shalot Mudola got Uganda into the score-sheet through a penalty on 63 minutes, but Stella Wafula scored 10 minutes later to dampen their hopes of a comeback. The She Cranes scored their two unconverted tries in the 68th and 76th minutes through Mudola and Winnie Atiang respectively.