Sugar Millers crush Bankers in a bare-knuckled Kenya Cup battle in Nandi County
Kenya Cup champions KCB claim their weekend 30-23 loss to fellow title contenders Kabras has not dented their hopes of retaining the crown.
The nervy clash highlighted by several stoppages for crucial breathers where players regrouped to share notes while medics were on toes attending to spiking injuries in the thriller as blocked fans still managed to squeeze in themselves to follow the match through the chain link fence.
The match played at the Nandi Bears Club was the first meeting for two sides where lessons are crucial heading into the play-offs with two final rounds and a couple of postponed matches left.
KCB’s first loss nonetheless earned the side a losing bonus courtesy of the striking rate while their defensive efforts denied Kabras their first bonus win in a match KCB played for 20 minutes without a 15th player owing to two sinbins.
On the standings, KCB is still in the lead with 39 points while Kabras follows closely with 34.
KCB vice-captain Darwin Mukidza said the team was anticipating a win in a match that had setbacks including a cancelled try by captain Curtis Lilako after he was held up in the try zone alongside two sin bins handed by centre referee Victor Oduor.
The two yellow cards had immediate implication as the hosts managed to land in two tries off both instances after camping deep in the Bankers’ territory.
“We came in expecting a win but lost and we accept the results and build from there. We will meet again in the finals.
The game was balanced but we had a few tactical mistakes and we must work on our errors and be more clinical in our next match.
The two sin bins was our mistake and we will be more disciplined in our remaining fixtures,” KCB vice-captain Darwin Mukidza said.
Kabras captain Felix Ayange claims the Sugar Millers are not afraid of play-offs.
“We have been working so hard behind the scenes. The win is something huge for us and we have been waiting for it,” Ayange told People Sports after their win in Nandi County.
The match was curtain-raised by a varsity derby won 38-10 by MMUST against Blak Blad despite a balanced first half.
In Nairobi, Harlequin beat Mwamba 20-18 at RFUEA grounds to climb to sit position six with 14 points, a point below fifth place MMUST who won by a bonus in Nandi to climb four places with 15 points, a point ahead of Quins and a point below fourth placed Strathmore Leos.