NANYUKI, Kenya, Jan 19 – The magical Jane Njeri struck a second half brace as defending champions Falling Waters successfully retained their Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Central Region girls’ title with a 3-1 win over Limuru Starlets at the Nanyuki Stadium on Sunday.
Njeri who has finished the tournament with six goals added on to skipper Mariam Lutomia’s first half strike with Limuru’s consolation slotted home from the penalty spot by Joy Kanja in the 82nd minute.
Falling Waters, previously known as Barcelona Queens, will now progress to the national finals for a second consecutive time, hoping to do better than last season when they fail to progress past the semi-finals.
Lutomia broke the deadlock after nine minutes with a belter from the right after the ball was recycled back into play from a poorly defended corner. Hannah Wangari picked the ball at the edge of the box before putting her captain through.
Just before that, Lutomia had shown her predative nature from range with a freekick from almost 35 yards out that was turned behind or a corner by the keeper.
Wangari had also come close a few minutes earlier when she was set up by Jane Njeri at the edge of the box, but her well angled shot flew just inches over the bar.
Despite going down, Limuru Starlets never gave in the pressure and anchored by their star player Joyce Nyokabi from the middle of the pack, they tried all but in vain to unlock a resolute falling Waters defense.
Damaris Akinyi who scored a hattrick in Saturday’s semi final came close for Limuru but she couldn’t get the right technique to lob the ball over the keeper after she raced off the line.
While the defending champions were also limited in their chances, they came close a minute to the break but Lutomia’s freekick from range brushed the bar on it’s way out, but they ensured they went to the break tails up at 1-0.
The Nyahururu based team kept their momentum in the second half and doubled their lead in the 66th minute when Njeri dribbled past the keeper to slam the ball into an empty net picking up a brilliant defense splitting pass from Wangari.
Limuru’s day went from bad to worse when they had to change their first choice keeper Susan Njeri who picked up an injury.
Just three minutes after coming on, new girl Nancy Matika was picking the ball from her own net when Njeri completed her brace with a penalty after Naomi Nanjala was axed inside the box.
Limuru picked up momentum in the last 10 minutes, but it was a little too late. They came close in the 80th minute when Damaris Akinyi struck the upright after the keeper spilled a shot, but they got their consolation two minutes later from the spot.
Eunice Ariviza handled inside the box and Kanja stepped up, slotting the ball hard and low to the bottom left.