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January 17, 2019

Title race hots up: Champions Police whip Parklands to go joint top with Butali Warriors

Kenya Police players strategise during a past match
Kenya Police players strategise during a past match /courtesy

The race to the 2018 Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Premier League title got hotter yesterday as defending champions Kenya Police hit Parklands 3-0 at City Park to move to joint top with Butali Warriors.

Butali had on Saturday descended heavily on 2016 champions Strathmore University Gladiators humiliating them in a 5-0 scoreline to take stretch their tally to 30 points. Police’s win yesterday put them level on points with Butali, who enjoy a healthier goal difference to take the top spot.

The weekend wins saw the frontrunners open an 11-point lead over their challengers, Wazalendo.

Police, aware of Butali’s big win the previous day, could not afford to bow to their opponents and pressed the gas pedal from the onset and their efforts were rewarded in the 15th minute as Samson Kibirir plundered home the opener from Willis Okeyo’s defence splitting pass.

Okeyo had an afternoon to remember as he enjoyed unrivaled possession in the midfield and had a contribution in all his sides three goals.

Skipper Oliver Echenje thought he had doubled the scores five minutes later with a fierce drive but was correctly disallowed for an infringement in the area. However, Police grabbed the second goal in the 34th minute through Amos Barkibir, who rounded Parklands custodian, Faharad Shire after being teed up by the youthful Robert Masibo.

Patrick Mugambi’s charges continued to press for goals and the third came two minutes from the final whistle through Victor Wekesa, who sounded the board following a poor clearance by Parklands defenders.

Police’s assistant coach Frederick Masibo in a post match interview insisted that they were not under pressure to catch up with Butali. “We are not under pressure to catch up with Butali. We take each game at a time and I am happy the boys are playing to our instructions. Against Parklands, it was not that easy but we used our experience to break their defence. I am confident we will topple Butali and retain the league.”

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