Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) handball clubs, Ulinzi Sharks and Ulinzi Tigers, will be out to break the hoodoo of losing to champions Nairobi Water Queens and National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) respectively when they meet in the National Super Cup final today.
For the longest time now, Ulinzi Sharks has been playing second fiddle in the Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) women’s National League, as well as, the KHF Super Cup to multiple champions and current reigning champions Nairobi Water Queens.
At the just-concluded season, Sharks finished second in the women’s national league behind invincible Nairobi Water Queens, who have won the league for the eighth time in a row.
In the Super Cup, Sharks again succumbed to champions Nairobi Water Queens last season.
The two sides are meeting again in the women’s Super-Cup finals today at Nyayo Stadium, from 2 PM, and clubs’ team manager Yusuf Kipkoech says, it’s time Sharks and Tigers step up and put an end to being confined to second-stringers.
“We’re optimistic of breaking the hoodoo this time around. Both teams are in high spirit, and I’m confident they will win in this year’s Super Cup,” KDF clubs’ team manager Yusuf Kipkoech told People Sport.
He wants Sharks and Tigers to reclaim their position as the high men on the totem pole when it comes to handball clubs’ competitions in Kenya.
In the regular league season, Sharks lost both encounters to Nairobi Waters, including a close shave one 29-28 in the first leg, and a hard-fought 30-26 loss, in the second leg.
The two defeats are the only ones Sharks suffered in the entire season, to finish second with 24 points, with Nairobi Water emerging top and unbeaten, to win the league with 28 maximum points.
Men’s defending champions NCPB on the other hand, are eager to make it to two titles in a row and complete a double of winning both the league title and the super cup title. Team captain Timothy Kirimi has promised to go all out to retain its super cup title, having successfully defended the league title.
“Meeting a team twice in the same tournament doesn’t make it any easy-peasy. Therefore, we are going to put in our best foot forward since there’s so much pressure on us being considered ‘favourites’ as a result of our previous win with them (KDF) in the pooling,” NCPB captain Timothy Kirimi told People Sport.