Top Fry Nakuru edged KCB 23-20 in an entertaining Kenya Cup fixture at the Nakuru Athletic Club on Saturday 21 February. The result sees the defending champions top the league phase, earning the right to host the semi final playoffs on Saturday 7 March.
This match was a close contest, the hosts gaining the early penalty advantage following a KCB infringement. Martin Muita’s goal attempt would bounce off the posts.
KCB’s John Ahenda found himself in possession, beating Nakuru’s gainline but stopped short of the try line.
Muita would break the deadlock with a successful goal attempt on twenty minutes for a 3-0 score. He extended the lead with two more penalties for a 9-0 lead but only after KCB’s Darwin Mukidza had fielded a high ball, beat two Nakuru players before kicking away possession when playing the ball wide seemed a more plausible idea.
Godwin Karuga would then yellow card KCB’s Max Adaka and Nakuru’s Dallo Chituyi for various infringements, Ken Moseti drilling home a penalty for KCB to bring the scores to 9-3 at the break.
KCB would draw a penalty off Nakuru upon resumption, opting for touch. They retained possession from the lineout, Oliver Mang’eni beating his Nakuru defenders but his desperate lunge for the chalk fell short.
Nakuru were on the ropes from sustained KCB pressure but turned over possession, Martin Owillah racing clear to score with Muita converting for a 16-3 score.
KCB continued asking questions of Nakuru, let down by handling errors when it mattered most. They eventually got points on the board, Jacob Ojee beating his defenders to touch down for a 16-8 score on fifty three minutes.
Karuga would dish out his third card of the afternoon, a yellow card to Nakuru’s David Kivuti as KCB spurned another try scoring opportunity courtesy of a dropped ball literally over the chalk.
Their efforts were soon rewarded when Elly Mukaisi reacted quickest to a loose ball to score for KCB, Mukidza drilling home the penalty for a 16-15 score on sixty one minutes.
Things would then go south for the bankers when Karuga issued his fourth card of the day to a repeat offender, one Max Adaka who saw red on this occasion.
Nakuru would raise their tempo, capitalizing on the extra man advantage to pummel the KCB forwards. Their efforts were soon rewarded by way of a penalty try that Muita duly converted for a 23-15 score.
The bankers were not done. They turned over possession, Mukidza played in by Felix Wanjala and beating his Nakuru defenders to score and earn the bankers a bonus point for losing by less than seven points.
Karuga would soon call for full time, Nakuru’s pedigree triumphing over KCB’s form.
More importantly, Nakuru finished the season unbeaten and top of the log, earning the right to host the March 7 semi finals.