The curtains fall on the 2016/17 league season with the Kenya Cup final taking place at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka on Saturday 22 April 2017.
This is the home venue of KCB, champions in 2005,2006,2007 and 2015, who earned the hosting rights by virtue of being the highest seeded side to reach the championship. Their opponents on the day just happen to be the reigning champions Kabras Sugar.
KCB finished second at the close of the round robin phase of the league, earning direct semifinal qualification. They would then edge out SportPesa Quins 19-12 in a close contest at Ruaraka on April 8.
Kabras, champions in 2016, took the longer, probably more scenic route to the final. A fifth place finish at the close of the round robin phase saw them paired away to Resolution Impala Saracens in a repeat of last year’s final.
Kabras would win this Top 6 playoff tie 21-18, setting up a semifinal date against form team Menenegai Cream Homeboyz. Homeboyz had finished top of the round robin phase and were unbeaten since the start of the 2017 calendar year. The sugar millers would overturn a 0-17 deficit, tying the game 17-17 at the close of regulation time before winning it in extra time, the 22-17 result setting up the date with KCB, and in essence a repeat of the 2015 final which the bankers won 27-3.
The two sides have met on five previous occasions since Kabras’ debut in the 2014/15 season. The sugarmen have drawn one and lost four of their previous Kenya Cup outings against KCB, and should they successfully defend their title on Saturday, they will have removed that monkey off their back in emphatic fashion. KCB will on the other hand look to maintain their dominance over Kabras and will be sufficiently motivated by their unblemished record over the defending champions. They will however have to take note of that timeless adage, “records are there to be broken.”
In terms of consistency, Kabras Sugar have not been out of the top two since their promotion three seasons ago while KCB have been a permanent fixture in the top four at the close of every season since the 2002 when they fell to a 14-3 defeat to Impala in that season’s Kenya Cup final.
It is interesting to note that tacticians Curtis Olago (KCB) and Anthony Ogot (Kabras Sugar) played together at KCB slightly under a decade ago but that sentiment will count for nothing until the moment on Saturday evening center referee Constant Cap sounds his whistle to signal full time.
This match will kick off at 4.00pm on Saturday 22 April. Gate charges Ksh 400.
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