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Gor, KCB RFC battle for SOYA best team award

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Gor Mahia have been crowned the 2017 KPL champions. Photo /RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18- Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia will battle it out with KCB’s Rugby 15s team for the Team of the Year Award at next month’s Sports Personality of the Month Award.

K’Ogalo put up a spirited fight to win their record 16th league title with four games to spare will battle out with the Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup champions KCB, the Kenya Under-19 Cricket team, Kenya Police Hockey team and the Strathmore University Handball team in the men’s Team of the Year award.

Apart from clinching the league title, Gor Mahia won the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup in Tanzania by beating arch-rivals AFC Leopards 3-0 in the final in Dar es Salaam and went on to play English Premier league side Everton, losing 2-1.

For KCB Rugby Club, they had a successful season after winning all the three major rugby 15s titles; Kenya Cup, regional Enterprise Cup and Impala Floodlit under coach Curtis Olago who has also been nominated for the coach of the year award.

They claimed both titles with sweet victories over Kabras Sugar. They won their fifth Kenya Cup with a 36-8 victory over the sugar men in the final before repeating the feat in the Enterprise Cup, rallying from 10 points down.

KCB Captain Curtis Lilako leads teammates in celebrating lifting Kenya Cup.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

The Bankers went for their fifth Impala Floodlit title, beating Impala Saracens 18-17 in the final. KCB also produced the highest number of players (13) to the Kenya Simbas team that won the Elgon Cup and finished second in Rugby Africa Gold Cup besides taking part in Hong Kong Cup of Nations.

Another contender is the national Under-19 Cricket team that qualified for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup set for January 2018 in New Zealand.

Their historic qualification put Kenya a once cricketing powerhouse but now struggling to reclaim its lost glory on the world map once again. The qualification also marked the beginning of Kenya’s journey to recovery after years of poor performance internationally.

During the Africa qualifiers the Kenyans put up a spectacular performance that will not be easily forgotten.

Having lost to Uganda in the first round, many had written them off and given the ticket to the Ugandan side that seemed stronger based on the huge victories they had registered in the championship. However, Kenyans put up an electrifying show to beat Uganda by seven wickets and within the required overs and qualify for the World Cup.

The team also whitewashed Ghana and Botswana in the qualifiers.

Part of the action during Kenya Police and Eastern Company’s final match at the African Club championship on January 15, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Kenya Police Hockey team bagged continental silver after losing to Egypt’s Eastern Company in the men’s final of the Africa Cup for Club Championships.

The Strathmore University Handball team were crowned the Regional (EA) University Champions, lifted the National University title, won the National Super Cup and finished 1st runnersup in the National League.

-Women teams-

The women’s Sports Team of the Year nominees is headlined by the Kenya Lionesses who will fight it out with the national women’s volleyball team (Malkia strikers), the women’s cricket team, Telkom Orange Hockey team, Kenya Prisons and Kenya Pipeline volleyball clubs.

Kenya Lionesses eliminated Morocco in the quarters.

The Kenya Lionesses reached the Main Cup quarter-finals of the HSBC Sevens Women’s World Series Qualifiers, their best performance after lifting Bowl at last year’s qualifiers held in Ireland.

The team bagged silver at the Africa Cup Sevens Championship held in Tunisia and as well qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games despite missing the World Cup slot to South Africa.

The Malkia Strikers beat Egypt by straight sets to finish top in the Africa Zone Five World Championship Qualifiers to book a slot to take part at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon where they won silver after losing to Cameroon in the final.

The women’s cricket team won Regional Championship title after beating Uganda and also participated in the Kwibuka Tournament where they reclaimed the cup.

Telkom Orange, will be looking to reclaim the award after having a stellar season that saw them win a record ninth Africa Cup for Club Championships title and they are currently chasing a 20th women’s league trophy.

Telkom Orange ladies celebrate winning their fifth consecutive African Hockey title and the ninth overall. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Kenya pipeline on their side retained the Kenya Volleyball Federation league title after beating all the teams at the play-offs by straight sets including arch rivals Kenya Prisons. They also reached the quarter-finals at the Africa Club championships which were held in Tunisia in April where they lost 3-2 to Prisons

Men’s Sport Team of the Year

  1. Gor Mahia
  2. KCB RFC
  3. Kenya U19 Cricket team
  4. Strathmore Handball team
  5. Kenya Police Hockey team

Women’s Sports Team of the Year

  1. Kenya Pipeline (Volleyball)
  2. Kenya Prisons (Volleyball)
  3. Women’s national Cricket team
  4. Women’s national volleyball team (Malkia Strikers)
  5. Women’s national rugby sevens team (Kenya Lionesses)
  6. Telkom Orange (Hockey)
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