NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Defending champions Kabras Sugar rallied from a 10-17 deficit at the break to beat Homeboyz 22-17 in extra time and book their third consecutive Kenya final where they will face off with KCB who beat Kenya Harlequins 19-12 in the other semi.
It will be a repeat of the 2014/15 final that saw KCB beat Kabras 24-3 in what was the latter’s first ever appearance in the Kenya Cup final.
At the Jamhuri Showground, Kabras forced the game into extra time after a 17-17 tie in the regular 80 minutes and substitute Johnston Mungao landed the all important try for Kabras and despite Jone Kubu missing the conversion, it never mattered at the end of it all.
Homeboyz ran in two tries, one penalty and two conversions against Kabras’ four tries and one conversion.
Hillary Mwanjilwa, Malik Habil, Macharia Perminus and Johnstone Mungao scored for Kabras with Kubu converting one while Leonard Mugaisi and Emmanuel Mavala touched down for the Deejayz. Kelvin Masai converted two tries and sent in one penalty.
Homeboyz got things going with Masai’s penalty but Kabras responded quickly with Mwanjiliwa’s try but Fijian nationality Jone Kubu sent the conversion wide.
The Deejayz had a well-orchestrated try to make a response this time from Mugaisi who showed his sevens pace and experience chipping and touching down for a 10-3 lead after Masai’s conversion.
Homeboyz extended the lead to 17-5 as Masai converted Mavala’s try but the sugar belt boys reduced the deficit to 17-10 through Habil’s unconverted try.
Kabras started the second half on a bad footing as Dan Mwangi was sent to the bin but the same fell to Polycarp Odhiambo of Homeboyz drawing parity.
It then came the moment Kabras leveled the scores via Perminus Macharia’s try that was well converted by Kubu.
Masai had the chance to seal the win for the Deejayz but two of his penalties hit the post. Kubu would also miss a penalty in extra time but substitute Johnstone Mungao had the defining moment scoring an unconverted try.
Masai still had another chance to reduce the deficit but his penalty was wide and Homeboyz couldn’t find the try box as Kabras maintained their lead to return to the Kenya Cup final for a third year in a row.
-KCB beat Quins-
Darwin Mukidza struck 14 points from his boot while prop Moses Amusala scored the only try of the game to ensure KCB booked their place in the grand final.
The Lions had endured a topsy turvy time in the season before, which coincidentally did culminate in a loss to Quins in the third place playoff and from how they began the game here, it was obvious they were not happy with the idea of having to fight for a bronze medal as their opponents fought to claim the top prize.
For Quins, this was a bitter pill to swallow as they let go the chance to play at home in the final a fortnight later. They struggled to deal with early pressure from KCB, conceding a penalty which Mukidza duly converted.
– Mombasa, Kisii gain Kenya Cup promotion-
Elsewhere, 1997 Enterprise Cup champions Mombasa RFC made a return to the country’s top tier league for the first time since the 2014/15 season after winning their KRU Championship semifinal, posting an 11-10 result over hosts Catholic Monks at the CUEA grounds in Kareng’ata.
Kisii RFC will make their debut in next season’s Kenya Cup after edging out USIU 6-3 in the other semifinal fixture at the Gusii Stadium in Kisii.
Kisii and Mombasa will still meet to determine the overall winner of the Championshp on April 22.
-By Raga House-