By Maik Kwambo
Narrow win sees Resolution Impala retain Floodies
On a moth infested night, Resolution Impala RFC and Kenya Commercial Bank RFC accumulated 30 points, Resolution Impala running off 17-13 winners in the title match as the Resolution Health Impala Floodlit 2010 came to an end.
The match between these two adversaries was worthy of a final. It had tension and drama, keeping fans glued right to the very end. Impala's Nato Simiyu dropped a routine catch right from kicking, causing his side anxious moments as they found themselves under pressure from the bankers. Impala soon conceded a penalty that KCB's Peter Mutai failed to score.
Simiyu would soon get his side out of that pressure situation thanks to his massive boot. This signaled an assertive period for the Gazelles as they edged back into the game. They would soon win a penalty that Moses Kola coolly slotted home giving the hosts and defending champions a 3-0 lead.
KCB's repsonse was typical, piling pressure on Impala. Having pitched tent deep in Impalaland,they won two penalties in quick succession but failed to gather anything tangible. The Lions would continue piling the pressure, winning yet another penalty. This time round they opted to go for the line out. Anthony Ogot would a try from the resultant maul. Mutai failed to convert as the Lions led 5-3.
Kola restored Impala's lead with another penalty after KCB's Ken Isindu committed a foul that earned him a ten minute trip to the sin bin courtesy of match referee Ray Oruo. At 6-5, the match was finely poised with plenty of end to end action. Kola's third successful goal attempt saw the Gazelles take a 9-5 lead into the breather.
Early second half saw KCB concede another penalty. Kola put it away, stretching Impala's lead to 12-5. The Gazelles eased off slightly, allowing KCB back into the game. This pressure paid off first when Mutai drilled home a penalty that cut the deficit to 12-8 before Benjamin Ojema Otieno scored a try that gave KCB a 13-12 lead.
With the game winding down, Kelvin "Kichwaa" Omiyo scored the decisive try that gave Impala a 17-13 lead that they carried to the end. It wasn't all gloom for KCB as Kenya Sevens player Dennis "Ironman" Mwanja, getting back to his form of old was voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
The Captains' reactions
Resolution Impala Captain Nato Simiyu spoke with measured excitement saying,"we always believed in our abilities. We went all out for the title, and we are thankful to God almighty that we are the Champions."
KCB Captain Edwin Alubaka lamented over his side's failure to utilize the myriad chances that swung their way. He poured praise on Impala, lauding them for having the temerity to win the way they did. "We knew it was never going to be easy. Impala rose to the occasion, we must give credit where it is due.Overall it was a great match of rugby,typical of a final. Kudos to KCB for putting in a strong fight."
Earlier Mean Machine edged out Nakuru RFC 8-6 claiming third place.
The Schools Final saw Mang'u High School's "Wazimba" win a third Floodie title, beating first time finalists Moi Forces Academy in an entertaining match. Entertaining because the "Marines" from Moi Forces Academy put in a gallant fight, taking the game to their more illustrious opponents. Mang'u punished MFA's mistakes, scoring their nine points from the boot of prodigious talent Alenga Noordin who slotted home two penalties and a drop goal.
Most Valuable Player ( Clubs) -Dennis Mwanja -Kenya Commercial Bank RFC
Most Promising Player -Fidel Sinei
Top Try Scorer -Cedric Odera (Mean Machine RFC) & Victor Sudi (Resolution Impala RFC)
Most Valuable Player (Schools)- Alenga Noordin (Mang'u High School)
Top Points Scorer -Alenga Noordin
That was the action on Match Day three, the final of the Resolution Health Impala Floodlit 2010 Tournament. Focus now shifts to the Kenya Cup and second division Eric Shirley Shield leagues which kick off at various venues nationwide on Saturday 13th February 2010.
Nakumatt, Zoo Kericho suspended from KPL - Mativo directed that the league reverts to a 16-team competition.
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