A penalty on stoppage time helped Oilers overcome Kenya Harlequins 16-15 in a tightly contested match at the Nakuru ASK Showground, extending their unbeaten record this season.
Unbeaten, second placed Menengai Oilers were welcoming a fourth placed Kenya Harlequins at the Refinery for what was promising to be a cracker of a match in Nakuru, the newest city around.
The visitors were hoping to break a bad run against Gibson Weru’s charges that had seen them lose three times, with a solitary win and a draw from their last five meetings.
The hosts were first to draw blood five minutes into the first half through Timothy Omela’s boot before missing two chances to extend their lead from the tee in the ninth and fourteenth minute.
The missed chances then came back to haunt the hosts as Quins would miss a penalty, but made amends to immediately score from the resulting play. Scores now 3-5 as the resulting conversion sailed wide.
Prodigy Beldad Ogeta would then go over the whitewash for the homeside’s first try of the day for an 8-5 lead with close to a quarter an hour left on the clock. Further exchanges proved unfruitful as scores remained 8-5 heading into the breather.
Oilers were quick to ring changes in the second stanza with former Kenya Simbas skipper and Impala marks man Sam Onsomu, Stanley Isogol, Derrick Mbaire and Ifedha Destorius coming on to impact the game positively.
It was Quins who got the first points on the board in the second half through a penalty to made matters level, 8-8 the scores.
A tenacious Oilers attack continued ramping up pressure on the Quins defence and it was a matter of time before Steve Ochieng went over the white wash, Ominde missed the extra twos for Oilers to take a 13-8 lead.
Quins then hit back ten minutes later with a converted try to lead 13-15, setting the game for a nervy finish.
A dramatic finish was then served as Geoffrey Ominde converted a penalty on stoppage time to give Oilers a hard fought 16-15 win. Quins have now lost two matches in a row.
Kenya Harlequins: 1.Elisha Koronya 2. Brian Waraba 3. Melvin Thairu 4. Mike Onsando 5. Ben Onyango 6. Charlton Mokua 7. Felix Makhokha 8. Sheldon Kahi 9. Lucky Dewald 10. Charles Marcel 11.Charles Kinyanjui 12. Johnstone Mungau 13. Dennis Ambitho 14. Ivan Chebo 15. Dominic Osino
Replacements: Frank Khalwale 17. Dan Flynn * 18. Wilhite Mususi 19. Brian Wendo 20. Mitch Jaoko* 21. Xavier Bett 22. Leroy Kamau 23. Brian Onyiego 24. Khaidar Mohamed
Menengai Oilers 1.Mwaura Edward 2.Kelvin Mukoyani 3.Emmanuel Makwata 4.Wallace Onyango 5.Clinton Odhiambo 6.Nickson Ochieng 7.Tyson Maina 8.Chrispine Shitundo-C 9.Kelvin Mburu 10.Geoffrey Ominde 11.Beldad Ogeta 12.John Okoth 13.Dennis Abukuse 14.Timothy Okwemba 15.Davis Nyaundi
Reserve: 16.Isogol Stanley 17.Atiti Francis 18.Ifedha Desterious 19.Ayoo Ibrahim 20.Brian Sinei 21.Sam Onsomu 22.Steve Ochieng 23.Derrick Mbaire