The Kenya cup and Championship leagues entered their penultimate rounds on Saturday 22. While others in the likes of KCB, Kabras, Strathmore and MMUST are already looking miles ahead into the semifinals, some are still entangled in the playoff and relegation mesh.
Nakuru flattered against Quins, a sigh of relief for Gibson Weru coached Oilers who now have a chance to fight for playoff rights on the last day of the regular season despite a sounding 43-13 loss to KCB over the weekend.
Strathmore Leos continue their red hot form in the championship with a 79-16 humbling of former Kenya cup side Mombasa RFC; and what else makes our list? Newcomers Kisumu and Western Bulls do not have to wait till the last day to know they are not welcome in the Kenya Cup.
KCB rediscover spark
Champions KCB treated fans and foes to a stellar show of class at the Den to condemn a visiting Oilers side 43-13, a replica of the outcome of the first leg between the two sides. The result comes after the Bankers failed to hit the 30 point mark in three consecutive matches.
The team was in synch as Isaac Njoroge and Mike Kimwele dazzled on both wings, Levy Amunga yet again showed his bosses why they were right to rope him in from Blak Blad and the forwards were at the base of every attack. Front rower and skipper Curtis Lilako and back-rowers Steve Wamai and Felix Ojo grabbed a try each in the encounter.
Kabras who cannot stop scoring recorded a 52-6 win over a visiting Nondies to send a message of intent; This one is going down to the wire. Homeboyz have found a way to pop up in this discussion too, their 56-6 win over Western Bulls validates their position in the Kenya cup chase debate.
The fall of Kisumu and Western Bulls
Western Bulls and Kisumu were forced to bid goodbye to Kenya Cup with a game left on the roster after defeats to Homeboyz and Blak Blad respectively. Kisumu have a match in hand but with a meagre six points after 14 games, the lakeside outfit will have to go back to the championship and restructure.
Wins for Bulls against Harlequins and Mwamba were not enough to keep them in the top tier as a Blak Blad rout effectively set them on course for demotion. Kisii and Mombasa also suffered the same fate in the 2018/19 season, their first season after promotion.
Strathmore a different cut in the championship
15 out of 15 is the unblemished record the Leos have set in the championship. They remain to be the only unbeaten side in the championship and Kenya cup leagues. From the look of things, they seem unstoppable in their quest for Kenya cup promotion.
A 79-12 domination over relegation-threatened Mombasa clearly sends out a warning to USIU who are the likely semifinal opponents. The enterprise clash against KCB was their toughest test this season and to be honest they did extremely well, avoided a battering and showed that relegation was just but a slip.
Oilers poised for playoffs, Nakuru likely to miss out
Nakuru based outfits Oilers and Wanyore will be left fighting for the last playoff spot after Mwamba picked a win over Impala, assuring themselves a quarter-final berth.
Crunch home ties pitting Oilers against Harlequins and Nakuru against Western Bulls will highlight the last day of the regular Kenya cup season.
If the home teams pick maximum points or lose the fixtures, it is Oilers who are destined for an appearance in the playoffs. A good sign for them this being their second Kenya cup season. Nakuru will, however, get a second straight appearance in the quarters if they beat Bulls and Oilers fall to Quins.
Ailing former Kenya Cup sides
Former Kenya cup sides Kisii RFC, Mombasa RFC and Catholic Monks occupy the last three slots on the championship log, with the first two in the danger zone.
It was all smiles, pats on the back and dreams of brighter days as Kisii and Mombasa met in the 2016/2017 Championship finals. A match that between two sides who were set to replace Mean Machine and Bulls in the top tier.
A season later Kisii and Mombasa were in the championship, an additional season and both teams face relegation to the nationwide league, with Monks’ hopes hanging on a strand of hair.