NAIROBI, Kenya, March 14 – KCB RFC ended the dream of surprise debutants Kabras by depositing a 27-3 victory in the final to end their eight-year Kenya Cup wait at Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds on Saturday.
Nakuru RFC who surrendered the title to Kabras at the last four, settled for third after edging out Strathmore Leos 21-15 whist Impala II beat defending champions KCB II 29-10 to lift the Eric Shirley Shield.
“It has been a long wait and finally we were able to win the trophy. Boys were motivated ahead of the game and capitalized on Kabras mistakes to punish them. I knew they were strong on the breakdowns so I tightened my defence and finally pinned them down,” KCB head coach Curtis Ogalo who won his first Kenya Cup trophy with the Ruaraka based side enthused after the win.
His opposite number, Anthony Ogot who was ironically part of KCB’s victorious 2006 squad as a player said, “We didn’t expect to reach the finals, we lost but we proved our worth. We are looking forward for a better season next year.”
The Lions who entered the encounter as favorites began under pressure with Kabras superiority in the scrum giving the bankers a hard time but Curtis Lilako brought a sigh of relief when he broke the stalemate from a rolling maul with Darwin Mukidza converting for a 7-0 lead.
Lilako would soon visit the sin bin as Kabras fought back but KCB maximized on their opponents errors for a turn over possession that saw Mukidza set up Jacob Ojee to score at the corner for 12-0.
Olago charges remained resolute against a hungry Kabras side seeking to make history in winning their maiden title and took the lead into the breather.
Aluda Beda scored Kabras’ only points off a penalty in early second half action, reducing the deficit to 12-3 but the sugar Millers fell further behind when Oscar Okaron failed to decisively deal with Mukidza’s speculative chip after Fabian Olando’s initial punt on a loose ball, Mukidza grounding for a 17-3 lead.
Kabras hopes of coming back in the game could be dampened when Peter Karia scored off a rolling maul with Mukidza converting to take the scores to 24-3.
Mukidza added a late penalty to confirm the full time result as the bankers bagged a fourth Kenya Cup, adding to titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
There were more accolades for the bankers as Lilako took home the top try and points scorer awards after landing 16 times, accumulating 80 points while Max Adaka was voted the most valuable player for the 2014/15 season.