Ochieng’s charges have two matches left against NCPB and Nanyuki to conclude the season.
Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) women’s league defending champions Nairobi Water Queens have exerted their dominance in the league as they beat rivals Ulinzi Sharks 30-26 yo move to within two matches if claiming the league unbeaten.
Queens came into the match well aware that a loss would complicate their chances of winning the league as it would come down to goal difference, while denting their perfect run in eight years.
“The game went as expected. I was prepared for the resistance we faced and my players played according to instructions. Discipline on the court worked for us as even when we are trailing the players remained calm and stuck to the plan.
We needed this win to keep the momentum going for our eight title in a row and I can confidently say we are going for another unbeaten title,” said coach Jack Ochieng.
The fans were fully back on the courtside and the atmosphere was electric. And what better way to welcome them back but with a clash of the titans.
As expected the match lived up to expectations, and yes the match had to be stopped severally, just to get the excited fans back to their stands. Any missed chances at goal were regretted and equally condemned. The match often went for minutes without a goal as both sides ran tight defences.
“We lost the match in the last two minutes. My players did not have the zeal to win and lost many scoring chances. We were just shooting without the intention of scoring and that saw many of our balls stopped by their goal keeper. We had some mis-passes too and those handed them unnecessary turnovers and scoring chances.
Lack of experience also showed as our decision making was poor when it mattered. This loss means we have lost the chance of winning the league but we must fight to win the remaining matches. We will get another chance to face Queens and we will be ready,” said Sharks’ coach Wycliffe Juma.
The match was tightly contested from the onset, as the two sides tied at 14 goals at half time. On resumption it was a see-saw with neither team enjoying an advantage larger than two goals.
With six minutes to go, the two sides were tied at 26 goals, Queens went ahead at 28-26 with the soldiers missing two clear chances at equalling the score.
With the clock reading 56.46 minutes, Sharks went on timeout but it was Queens who scored two more for the winner with their keeper, Modester Auma, the hero of the last two minutes of the match as she denied Sharks equalising chances.
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Lynette Matheka, Journalist.