NAIROBI, Kenya, January 31- Defending champions Impala will meet Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in the final of the Resolution Health Impala Floodlits on Saturday.
Impala veteran Moses Kola kicked 12 points in their 27-20 victory over University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine to send them to their second consecutive final and a rematch with the Lions who overwhelmed Nakuru 27-5.
Machine put the Gazelles under pressure in the opening exchanges before allowing their opponents to edge ahead in terms of possession and yardage.
Impala’s pressure finally paid off when Victor Sudi received a short ball from Kola to score the game’s opening converted try for a 7-0 lead.
From the restart, Machine’s Fidel Sinei raised a high ball deep into the Impala half. Impala gave away a penalty that Sinei successfully put over to narrow the scores to 7-3. Kola and Sinei added a penalty each as Impala led 10-6 going into the half time.
Both sides continued to go at each other, Machine giving away a penalty that Kola gladly put away, extending Impala’s lead to 13-6.
The varsity side was not going down without a fight and they soon scored an easy try after Impala’s Sudi failed to deal decisively with a high ball deep in his half.
Cedric Odera capitalized on the lucky bounce to ground the ball. Sinei missed this conversion as the scoreboard read 13-11 in Impala’s favor.
Machine put more pressure on Impala and were rewarded for their efforts when Sinei drilled home a 35 meter penalty after an infringement.
At 14-13, Machine was in the lead for the first time in this tie. Kevin Umbuge, outstanding all evening restored Impala’s lead when he touched down minutes later which Kola converted to make it 21-14 in Impala’s favour.
Ian Were scored a converted try to draw Machine closer with the scores at 21-20 but Nato Simiyu sliced through the Machine defense to ground the ball and bury the varsity’s hopes of victory.
Dennis Mwanja continued to impress with a brace of tries against Nakuru and book a mouth watering encounter against Impala.
In the schools category, Moi Forces Academy are in unchartered territory after booking a final with Mangu after a 5-0 win over Alliance.