Kenya Harlequin FC stayed unbeaten, surviving an almighty scare from Kenya Commercial Bank RFC, running off with a hard fought 30-24 win at the RFUEA Grounds on Kenya Cup Match Day Nine.
The "visitors" dominated from kick off, winning an early penalty following a KCB infringement. Winger Peter Abuoga missed the goal attempt but as his side continued to see all of the ball, they won another penalty that he slotted over for a 3-0 lead. This seemed to stir KCB into action, finally settling down as they finally managed to see more of the ball with their forwards stringing together several phases but unable to turn possession into points.
Backrow Leslie Libasia would steal the ball from a ruck, gaining ten yards, playing in Tony Mutai who played in Abuoga to score an unconverted try at the corner, giving Quins an 8-0 lead. KCB would again respond, their rampant forwards putting Quins on the backfoot. KCB would regain possession from the turnover ball . Backrow Ken Isindu would punch through the Quins defence, Center Brian Omondi was on hand to ground the ball, cutting the lead to 8-5.
Omondi's try was critical in setting up the platform for a period of KCB dominance.Prop Derrick Wamalwa would play in flanker Xavier Makuba who broke through the Quins rearguard, gaining fourty yards but fluffing his final effort agonizingly of the tryline. With KCB in the ascendency, winger Meshack Otieno's stray pass was intercepted by Quins fullback Chris Oduor who did all the hard work before offloading to Dennis Muhanji who grounded the ball. Abuoga inexplicably missed a straight forward conversion with his side leading 13-5.
KCB again responded, keeping possession from the restart as Ronnie Mwenesi and Isindu continued to pose problems for Quins. Isindu set up another KCB attack,and after four phases, Dan Turungi held his nerve to touch down with Fabian Olando converting for a 13-12 scoreline. KCB continued to grow in stature and were rewarded with Meshack Otieno try again converted by Olando. They would go into the interval leading 19-13.
The second half started on a tentative note but Abuoga reacted quickest from a Quins line out, stepping past two defenders to score under the posts. His conversion saw Quins retake the lead, 20-19. The match remained evenly contested in the intervening period but the bankers would gain the upper hand as the game wore on, dominating exchanges in the forwards. Holding on to possession from the ruck Peter Mutai's drop goal attempt hit the post and bounced away, sparing Quins' blushes. Ronnie Mwenesi would soon barge over the tryline, giving KCB the bonus point and the lead. Olando's missed conversion saw the scores read 24-20 to KCB.
Quins would survive the barrage from their hosts and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, Abuoga's shot at goal hitting the post, going in. He had cut the deficit to 24-23. A late converted try from Allan Omuka after indecision in the KCB backs saw the league champs run off with the 30-24 win. Quins claimed a bonus point, scoring four tries en route to victory while KCB earned two bonus points, scoring four tries and losing by less than seven points.
KCB Cubs pulled off a 16-15 win over Quins II in the Eric Shirley Shield
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