Impala Saracens have defeated Menengai Oilers 37-29 in an epic encounter staged at Impala Grounds.
The hosts drew the first blood in the fourth minute through the big second rower Simon Muniafu. Xavier Kipngetich drilled in the 2 extra points to take the hosts to an early 7-0 lead. Austin Sikutwa scored a penalty two minutes later to give the visitors first points of the afternoon.
An attempted maul by Oilers in the Impala’s 5m wasn’t successful as Impala’s fowards tend to slide away. Quick thinking by the Oilers’ fowards saw them play the ball setting up a ruck in the Impala red zone. After a series of picks and drives, Oilers found their way over the line. Conversion was successful and the visitors took the lead 10-7. Oilers extended their lead few minutes later with Derrick Keyoga finding space in the outside channel, brushing aside Xavier Kipngetich enroute to score at the corner flag.
Keyoga’s touchdown would be the visitor’s last points of the first 40 as Impala rallied to score 18 points to go to the sheds leading 25-15. Scrum half Xavier Kipngetich booted in 2 penalties with Kenyan International Sammy Oliech landing Impala’s second try after a series of brilliant ball handling. The Red shirts would score an unconverted try through wing Billy Omondi at the stroke of halftime for a 25-15 leading heading to the breather.
Menengai Oilers crossed the whitewash in the early minutes of the second half to cut the deficit to just 3 points. The scores would remain 25-22 in favour of Impala for the better of the second half until the last quarter when the hosts ran rampant.
An outstanding shift by the Impala’s fowards at scrum time in the Oilers 5m would pay off. Off the base of the scrum, Onsomu would pass to Billy Omondi who charged hard at his marker shrugging him off and touching it down at the corner to extend the lead to 30-22. Impala’s outside centre Anthony Nyandigisi got his name on the score sheet grabbing an intercept and raced clear to ground the ball under the posts. Quinto Ongo converted the try.
The Nakuru-based Oilers pulled one back scoring the last try of the game in the dying minutes of the second stanza to at least get one point by the virtue of scoring four tries.
Impala RFC: 1. Nesta Okotch 2.Girvens Onyango 3.Brian Ochieng 4.Simon Muniafu 5.Tyson Okoth 6.Harritone Munai 7.CarlWilliam Odhiambo 8.Elkeans Musonye(C) 9.Xavier Kipngetich 10.Sammy Oliech 11.Billy Omondi(VC) 12.Ishmael Mokaya 13.Anthony Nyandigisi 14.Alvin Marube 15.Anthony Odhiambo
Replacements: 16.Dan Ndomo 17.Emmanuel Otieno 18.John Kiilu 19.Eric Kerre 20.Steve Otieno 21.Sam Onsomu 22.George Okowa 23.Quinto Ongo
OILERS 1. Edward Mwaura 2. Hughes Anjera3. Vincent Mwikali 4. Javan Ateh 5. Chrispine Shitundo- c 6. Nickson Ochieng 7. Samuel Were 8. Rodgers Audi 9. Andrew Odero 10. Moses Arara 11. Timothy Okwemba 12. Emman Okwako 13. Austin Sikutwa 14. Derrick keyoga 15. Mark Kwemoi
Replacements: 16. Kelvin Mokoyani 17. Francis Atiti 18. Emmanuel Mulla 19. Brian Ndirangu 20. Dalmus Chituyi 21. Geoffrey Ominde 22. Davis Nyaundi 23. Nick Mogire