Mwamba RFC dreams of qualifying for a first Kenya Cup semi-finals in four years came to an end in a dramatic match after going down 31-32 to Kenya Harlequins on Saturday afternoon.
Quins were the first one off the blocks with a penalty before an impressive George Mutuku cancelled that out with another penalty. The hosts would score another try and convert but again Mutuku was sure with the boot for 10-6 score.
Humphrey Kayange, outstanding the whole season, sneaked into Quins attack line and stole an intercept to sprint 70 metres and land under the posts. Mutuku was sure with the boot. The lead swinging into Kulabu’s favour.
Quins would score two more tries, one converted for a 22-13 half time lead. In the second stanza, Kulabu came out hungrier with lock Paul Wahome barging over for a converted try. Then Lavin Asego would drill home a massive drop kick to nudge Kulabu in front.
Wilson Kopondo would lead the Ngong Road-based side into immediate response as they scored two uncoverted tries. Mutuku drilled home two penalties for 32-26 score line with four minutes to go. Steve Sikuta powered his way over the line but the referee of the day, Andre Karani needed the TMO to confirm grounding.
Then came the most important kick that would have handed Kulabu the lead. Uncharacteristically, the ever reliable Mutuku pushed his kick to the far right, narrowly missing the upright. Quins would hold for for the remaining minute and claim a narrow 32-31 victory.
In some good news, the Eric Shirley Shield side battled to a 22-18 victory over Homeboyz II and qualify semi finals. The two teams traded early penalties before John Oliale scored a try for a 10-3 half time lead.
Homeboyz II were stronger in the second half scoring two tries and a penalty while Kulabu II only managed a try for 18-15 scoreline. With a minute remaining, Mwamba II won a scrum five metres from the try and Ken Okwado picked the ball but was tackled above the shoulder as he was about to score.
Beryl Akinyi, the centre referee, dashed between the sticks and awarded a penalty try that gave Mwamba II the breakthrough.
Mwamba II will play KCB II in ESS match set for KCB Sports Club on Saturday afternoon.
Eric Shirley Shield
Olale ‘Rocky’ (C)
Ken Okwado ‘Chogi’
John Oliale (VC)
Otieno ‘Del Busto’
Sylvester Miheso ‘Sly’
Mike Mutuku ‘Mikey’
Salaton Muturi (VC)
Paul Muikia ‘Probox’
Tyson Nzaka ‘Tyso’
George Mutuku ‘Tuku’
Brad Owako (C)
Marvin Odiembo ‘Matelong’
David Oluoch ‘Watts’