KCB came from behind to beat a resilient Strathmore Leos 24-16 in a Kenya Cup match at the KCB Sports Club on Saturday.
The defending champions were made to work hard for the bonus-point win with Strathmore having taken a 16-13 lead early in the second half.
Unlike Strathmore Leos who took part in the KRU Championship promotion playoffs two weeks ago, today’s contest was KCB’s first competitive match since the Kenya Cup league was suspended in March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
KCB camped in the Strathmore territory in the early stages of the match with the students struggling to keep them at bay. KCB’s pressure eventually paid of as captain Curtis Lilako barged over, profiting from Samuel Asati’s great work before Shaban Ahmed added the extras with the boot.
Strathmore found a response minutes later as Philemon Olang’ went over the whitewash after the Louis Kisia-coached side had put together several phases. Arnold Muita stepped up to add the conversion as Strathmore drew level.
An infringement by the hosts earned Strathmore a penalty which was slotted home by Andrew Matoka to give his side a 10-7 lead.
KCB hit back on the stroke of halftime as they worked the ball from right to left before Isaac Njoroge applied the finishing touch on Andrew Amonde’s pass to score an unconverted try.
The see-saw nature of the match continued at the start of the second half as Strathmore restored their lead, Muita splitting the posts with two penalties in succession to hand the students a 16-12 lead.
KCB’s Geoffrey Okwach beat his markers on the wing to score a try that was not converted as his side held a narrow 1 point advantage before a quickly taken penalty by Michael Wanjala saw the halfback put his name on the score sheet with a try that was converted by substitute Darwin Mukidza.
KCB: 1.Oscar Simiyu 2.Griffin Musila 3.Curtis Lilako 4.Francis Mwita 5.Oliver Mang’eni 6.Andrew Amonde 7.Davis Chenge 8.Peter Waitere 9.Samuel Asati 10.Shaban Ahmed 11.Geoffrey Okwach 12.Brian Omondi 13.Peter Kilonzo 14.Isaac Njoroge 15.Esau Otieno
Replacements: 16.George Asin 17.Patrick Ouko 18.Derrick Juma 19.Steve Wamai 20.Rocky Aguko 21.Michael Wanjala 22.Levy Amunga 23.Darwin Mukidza
Strathmore Leos: 1. Gabriel Adero (C) 2. Clinton Khasai. 3. Arnold Omollo. 4. John Aswani*. 5. Fanuel Aduda 6. Philemon Olang. 7. Barnabas Owuor. 8. Bethuel Muteshi. 9. Arnold Muita. 10. Lucas Oppal. 11. Cecil Otieno. 12. Wiseman Aganya. 13. Richard Omedo. 14. Brunson Madigu* 15. Matoka Matoka.
Replacements: 16. Trevor Opondo 17. Jack Angawa 18. Rodney Ambale 19.Austin Mboya 20. George Ooro* 21. Shaquel Bosire* 22 .Mathew Mogaya. 23. Amos Cornelius*