Magnificent comeback Upper Hill win five times in rugby Sevens
Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) rugby sevens champions, Upper Hill, rose from their 12-7 defeat to Jinja in the opening match of the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association (FEASSSA) competition to register wins in the remaining five fixtures for the title.
Wins against St Peter’s and arch rivals Laiser Hill in yesterday’s matches handed the Thomas Walgwe-coached side the title and now they await their crowning moment after today’s matches.
Unconverted tries from captain Brian Kimani, Calvin Kahindi and Dennis Onyono handed Upper Hill the win at 15 points against St Peter’s seven from a William Mwanji try converted by Eric Ogutu.
With Laiser standing in the way of their double, the Brian Kimani skippered Upper Hill had less than 30 minutes of rest between the St Peter’s match and Laiser’s but they fought for a 27-14 win in the encounter.
Calvin Kahindi’s two tries and a piece each for James Mwangi, Pius Odera and Dennis Onyono with a single conversion from Solomon Maleu handed Upper their maiden 7’s title.
Upper Hill led 17-0 in the first half but Brunson Madigu stepped up to score two tries converted by Fredrick Odongo for 14 points at full time while the opponent scored two to extend their lead.
“It was a disappointing start because that’s not how we play as a team. We made a few changes to the line-up and I am glad the boys recovered to win the remaining matches and the title we were targeting is home. The toughest battle was against St Peter’s as they are well built and very physical on the pitch.
“With little time to rest after facing St Peter’s, I couldn’t allow the players to dip mentally and we took them for a walk as we talked game plan.
“They gave their all in the pitch after that and we are East Africa champions,” said an elated Walgwe.
Meanwhile, it will be a Kenya versus Uganda affair in the girls football as KSSSA silver medallists Itigo take on Mukono in the first semi-final while national holders Nyakach faces off with last year’s East Africa runners-up Kawempe.
Itigo, who are making a comeback in the regional showpiece since 2006, had Harambee Starlets forward Martha Amunyolete to thank as she scored the winner in the 14th minute against Kawempe in their last group match to hand them the semis slot.