By Maik Kwambo
Kenya Harlequin FC are the 2009 Enterprise Cup winners courtesy of a 19-6 win over Kenya Cup champions Impala RFC at the RFUEA.
The match started on a tentative note, both sides cautious in their initial approaches and it was Quins who made the first forays into the Impala half, winning a penalty early on but scrum half Jude Thumbi was unsuccessful with his goal attempt.
The match continued to unfold slowly, Impala RFC uncharacteristically making several errors and would lose influential fly half Peter Ocholla on fourteen minutes through injury.
Thumbi would put Quins ahead a minute later when he slotted home a penalty after another Impala infringement.
Quins 3 Impala 0 on fifteen minutes.
Quins would then assert themselves for a good period though Impala fended off their attacks.
The Gazelles began to get back into the game though Quins rode the pressure. Dennis Muhanji would breach the Impala defense , earning his side a penalty that they failed to translate into points. Impala captain Innocent Simiyu would be stopped short of the try line as the Gazelles looked to put their first points on the board.
As the game rode on, Quins backrow man Victor Oduor would be sent to the sin bin on thirty two minutes. Impala would win a scrum down, and then a penalty as they piled pressure on Quins. Moses Kola slotted home the goal attempt to level the scores.
Quins 3 Impala 3 on thirty four minutes.
Fourteen man Quins responded right from kick off, Allan Onyango grounding the ball on thirty six minutes. Thumbi missed the conversion.
Quins 8 Impala 3 on thirty seven minutes.
Quins would then win a penalty right at the half time buzzer. Thumbi slotted home this goal attempt.
Quins 11 Impala 3 at half time.
Sniffing victory, Quins were quickest out of the box come the second half, camping in the league champion's half. Their pressure paid off when Dennis Muhanji touched down from a Daniel Kiptoo pass. Thumbi missed the conversion.
Quins 16 Impala 3 on fourty four minutes.
Quins continued to dominate, subduing the Gazelles. Impala briefly sprung into life, attacking and winning a penalty that Kola narrowly missed.
Simiyu,Impala's most outstanding player on the day, continued to fight for the Enterprise Cup, skipping past two defenders before being mowed down, winning a penalty.
This period of the match was characterized by casual play from Impala despite having plenty of possession. Kola would miss another penalty kick and Paul Oimbo contrived to spill the ball from the resultant touch kick from the Quins backs. Impala would earn another penalty that Kola would finally put over.
Quins 16 Impala 6 on sixty one minutes.
Fewer minutes left on the clock and the game was now a midfield affair, plenty of tackles, rucks and mauls the dominant feature. Thumbi would drill home another penalty to stretch Quins lead.
Quins 19 Impala 6 on sixty seven minutes.
Impala finally sprung into life at the business end of this half, camping in the Quins half but the Quins did just enough to weather the Impala backlash and claim the 2009 Enterprise Cup title.
Final Score Kenya Harlequin FC 19 Impala RFC 6
Speaking after the game, Quins head coach Edward Kinyany' said, "we are glad to be back to winning ways. We took the game from the start, hence the 11-3 lead at half time. We played to our strengths."
Impala RFC assistant coach Charles Ngovi said, "we made too many mistakes. We failed to settle and Quins rattled us. Losing "Och" (Peter Ocholla) after fifteen minutes also disrupted our game plan."
Earlier on, Kenya Commercial Bank RFC II,playing in their seventh successive final, led 15-8 at half time before beating Kenya Harlequin FC II 23-18 to lift the 2009 Mwamba Cup, their fourth title this decade.
Benjamin Ojema scored two tries for the Cubs with Anthony Ochino adding another. Steve Matioli added a conversion and two penalties.
Victor Sudi scored two tries for Quins with Cyrus Omondi adding a third try. Lyle Asiligwa kicked over one penalty.