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Super-sub Owila steers KCB to Prinsloo title

KCB players celebrate after winning the Prinsloo Sevens title at the Nakuru Athletics Club on Sunday September 24, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAKURU, Kenya, Sep 24- Martin Owila stepped off the bench to powerfully steer KCB to their first Main Cup title of the season, the bankers making a commanding performance to see off home side Nakuru RFC 29-5 in an entertaining final at the Nakuru Athletic Club on Sunday evening.

Wanyore, steered by a passionate home base strode to a 5-0 lead at halftime after a tactical and hands-back opening minutes of the tie, but the bankers fought back dotting five tries, two of which were converted to pick in the win.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Shabaan Ahmed sunk in twice with Jacob Ojee, Michael Wanjala and the returning Andrew Amonde contributing one apiece in the healthy win.

“I think the boys have been working hard from when the season started and gelling step by step. We have been improving and winning the Main Cup is so sweet for us. Personally I feel great to come back to the team and win the Cup. It is quite fulfilling,” Amonde who is also the national Sevens team told Capital Sport.

The bankers have improved drastically from the opening tournament in Mombasa where they failed to make it to the Main Cup Quarters. In Nairobi at the Kabeberi Sevens, they finished fifth and head coach Dennis Mwanja sees the Nakuru success as a big statement.

KCB players celebrate with a cheeky dance after winning the Prinsloo Sevens title at the Nakuru Athletics Club on Sunday September 24, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“It has been work in progress and seeing us get to the main Cup and win tells that we have been working behind the scenes. I think we are picking up very well and I believe we played so well in Nakuru and we deserve to win,” Mwanja said.

Nakuru’s Mitch Ochollah was not entirely disappointed with the result, only a bit saddened that they could not give their home fans something to smile about.

“This is our second Main Cup final out of three tournaments this season and I wouldn’t say I am disappointed. Winning five out of six matches is no mean feat and I am pleased with our performance,” the tactician noted.

Nakuru were steered by the return of national team players Oscar Ouma and Nelson Oyoo whose presence was a huge influence throughout the tournament. KCB on their side had Amonde joining in from the national team.

In the final, Nakuru drew first blood after some patient build up, Oyoo diving across the line after picking out space in between. Geoffrey Ominde’s conversion went wide as the home side went to the break 5-0 up.

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Nakuru RFC and Kenya Sevens Star Nelson Oyoo runs at KCB’s Jacob Ojee during the Prinsloo Sevens at the Nakuru Athletics Club on Sunday September 24, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

However, the tables turned in the second half with Owila’s introduction. The lanky Kenya Sevens player won the ball from the restart, holding on to it before feeding Darwin Mukidza.

Some little steps in and out helped the Kenya Simbas assistant captain gain space and offloaded beautifully to Shabaan who grounded.

Mukidza turned provider once again, Owilla one more time turning over possessions after Nakuru had won the restart. Mukidza picked the ball, cited Shabaan’s run and offloaded, the pint-sized man running in between the posts and dotting down.

KCB’s Ahmed Shabaan prepares to kick in a conversion during the Prinsloo Sevens at the Nakuru Athletics Club on Sunday September 24, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

He converted for a 12-5 lead.

It was a similar script for the third try, again Nakuru failing to comprehensively pick up the restart. Owilla turned over, spotted Shabaan and offloaded as the MVP sunk in his second try of the game and concerting as KCB went 19-5 up.

Wanjala added the fourth try maximizing on defensive lapses before Amonde rounded up the win with a dive over the line.

Meanwhile, defending circuit and Prinsloo champions Homeboyz RFC finished third.

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