The KCB Lions claimed the Enterprise Cup for the second time with a 28-16 victory over Mean Machine in a thrilling final played at the RFUEA on Saturday.
The Lions went into the lead with an early penalty from Peter Mutai.Captain Paul Murunga scored an unconverted try a few minutes later to extend the lead to 8-0.Machine fought back and narrowed the deficit to 8-5 through Byran Simiyu's unconverted try."Pau" touched down again to give the Lions a 13-5 lead but Mike Mukopi again replied for the students with a try that brought the scores to 13-10.
A good move involving Howard Okwemba and Anthony Ochino saw Andrew Amonde touch down under the posts to give the Lions a 20-10 lead at this stage of the game.An infringement deep in the KCB half earned Machine a penalty that was duly converted by Kevin Gachoka to see the teams go into the half time break at 20-13.
Second half action saw Machine come out with guns blazing,pinning the Lions to their own half with constant attacks.The Lions defence held up and kept the students from scoring any more tries.However,the game seemed to go in favour of Machine when they were first awarded a penalty that was again kicked over by Kevin Gachoka.This penalty narrowed the scores to 20-16 and Machine had the opportunity to take the lead when KCB were temporarily reduced to 14 men when replacement scrum half Benjamin Otieno was yellow carded for an infringement.The students pressed,keeping the Lions on the backfoot but resolute defence and maturity kept the Lions in the game.While still a man down,they gained possession from a Machine attack,launched a counter attack scored a pushover try through Anthony Ogot.This widened the gap to 25-16.This awakened their fighting spirit.Peter Mutai would then stroke over the penalty that effectively killed off Mean Machine.With the scores at 28-16,match referee Raymond Oruo blew the final whistle that saw the Lions reclaim the trophy they won for the first time in 2004.The Lions also completed a rare season triple in fifteens rugby,adding the Enterprise Cup to the Kenya Cup and Impala Floodlit titles they won earlier this season.
Earlier in the Mwamba Cup,KCB Cubs three year reign as champions was ended by a fired up Strathmore University who crushed the defending champions 32-7 in the final match played at the same venue.The Cubs suffered an early blow when hard tackling flanker Ronnie Mwenesi was sent off for retaliation.They trailed 0-13 at the interval and were always second best during the entire match.35 year old Dave Orenda scored the consolation try for the Cubs,intercepting a loose pass from the Strathmore backs and running 75 meters to score under the posts.Harun Lubisia was sure with the conversion.Mike Shamiah,the Cubs team manager was philosophical about the loss saying,"win some...lose some...this was one of those we lost."
The curtain now falls on the 15s season.The KRFU sevens circuit kicks off in Nakuru on 22nd September 2007.
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