The Kenya Cup’s league phase came to a conclusion last weekend with the final round of fixtures. The top four sides proceed to the March 7th semifinal playoffs in Nakuru while the bottom two sides have been relegated to the Nationwide league. Their slots will be filled by the top two sides from the second tier league whose finals take place on the same day as the Kenya Cup final on March 14th.
Top Fry Nakuru, KCB and Kabras Sugar were the standout performers, churning out consistent performances to qualify for the semifinals. Nothing can be taken away from these trio. Defending champions Nakuru showing their pedigree, putting out championship performances to work their way top to the top of the log unbeaten.
KCB were the form team during the league phase, taking the battle to their opponents every weekend. Even as they lost to Nakuru last weekend, they put in a battling performance, perhaps strong enough evidence of their form.
Kabras Sugar…theirs is a fairy tale run…it would probably be fashioned along the lines of Platt & Munk’s 1930 children’s book, “ The little engine that could.”
Making their Kenya Cup debut after winning the 2013/14 Nationwide league, Kabras have lived and breathed the ethos of optimism and hard work, recovering from a slow start to claim a few scalps en route to fourth place and a Kenya Cup semi final at their first time of asking.
Pan Africa Strathmore Leos also made the semi final playoffs but suffered a worrying dip in form in the second half of the league phase, losing four of their last six outings. They will need to pick themselves up and prepare for the physical and mental contest that is the post season playoff.
Mwamba, Resolution Impala Saracens and Homeboyz eventually missed out on reaching the playoffs. This all boils down to consistency or the lack of it. These sides blew hot and cold too often during the regular season and this cost them vital ground when it mattered. They will probably take the learnings from this season’s experience and use it as a launch-pad for better performances next time around.
Total Nondies started on a slow note and despite finishing on a high,( a quick glance at their results shows that they won their last five matches of the season), their playoff ambitions were long gone.
Western Bulls made their best ever start to a Kenya Cup season, winning three of their opening four matches before the losses came through, thick and fast, their playoff chances going up in smoke.
Kenya Harlequin fell off the radar early in the campaign, suffering a drastic loss of form that saw them finish tenth overall, their worst Kenya Cup performance in recent times.
Blak Blad did just enough to retain their Kenya Cup status for another season, winning the three matches that mattered, and with bonus points to boot as they laid claim to eleventh place.
Mean Machine were fortuitous enough to stay up, wins over Catholic and Mombasa handing them a lifeline after sitting in the relegation zone for a better part of the season. Had they failed to honor the fixture away to Mombasa and emerge with a victory, they would have been in a different situation.
Catholic Monks spirited debut season came to end when they were relegated back to the Nationwide league alongside bottom of the table Mombasa. The Monks took everything that was thrown their way with amazing zeal and determination. That however was not enough to secure their top tier status.
Mombasa simply failed to get off the mark, finishing the league phase win-less.
View the final 2014/15 Kenya Cup league phase standings HERE