Defending champions Nairobi Water Queens picked their second win at the ongoing East and Central Africa Handball Federation Senior Club Championships beating Tanzania’s Ngome 28-16 to move closer to defending their title.
The other Kenyan side in action on Wednesday 1 December, Black Mamba were, however, not as luck as they fell 19-25 to men’s champions Rwanda Police to leave their chances of making it to the last four depended on the results final group match between the holders and Nyuki.
The Martin Abunde-coached Mamba had a good start in the match played at the Benjamin Mkapa Indoor Arena but were trailing by five goals at the break with the score reading 10-15 in favour of the Rwandese.
On resumption, the holders kept the tempo going with Yves Kayijame and Virteur Rwama doing all the damage to the Kenyans scoring ten and eight goals respectively as the side went on for the six-goal victory.
Brian Mumbo and Morgan Juma top scored for Mamba at four and three goals respectively as the Rwandese side managed to stop the Kenyan side’s goal poacher Paul Ondara who managed one goal. Christian George also contributed three for Abunde’s side.
“We had a good game but a few mistakes led to the loss. We still have to wait for the results of the match between Nyuki and Rwanda Police to be certain of a semis slot. It is not a good place to be but, considering Nyuki are not a bad side and anything could happen in that match.
However, we are not dwelling on that but are preparing for the next match whether in the semis or a fifth-place playoff. We know where we slipped and are already working to be better in the next encounter,” offered Ondara after the Rwanda Police match.
In the event Mamba get through to the last four, it will be inevitable that they meet Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) men’s league champions National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) who have won two of their group stage matches to top pool A that has Ngome and Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (JKT).
“Yes, we are likely to meet NCPB, they defeated us 27-25 in the local league so the match could go either way and we will be ready for them,” Ondara added.
Meawhile, the women’s championship will have a potential decider played on Thursday when Queens face NCPB Ladies at 1.30 pm. The holders have an upper hand over the millers if the performance in the KHF league is anything to go by.
In Wednesday’s match, Gladys Chilo and Brenda Musambai led the scoring charts at six and five goals as Jack Ochieng led his side to victory. It was, however, Ngome’s Haitham Juma who top scored in the encounter at seven goals.
Lynette Matheka, Journalist