Bitter-sweet affair for Police as curtains come down on league

The curtains came down on the 2017/18 season Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) on Sunday on a rather sad note following the demise of Kenya Police head coach Kenneth Kaunda on Saturday.

Kaunda passed away on the eve of his team’s coronation and although he had already done his homework owing to the Police league triumph in January, he was not there to receive the trophy he had worked so hard for in the past 12 months.

According to his assistant Patrick Mugambi, the deceased complained of a headache on Friday evening and was later taken to hospital overnight but was pronounced dead on Saturday morning.

“Although we don’t reside in the same vicinity I was informed that on Friday evening he complained of a headache which was not serious but later in the night he was overwhelmed and was rushed to the hospital only to be pronounced dead on Saturday morning,” Mugambi mourned.

Mugambi said that the untimely demise of his boss is a blow to him and the team at large which he had served with distinction — as a player, before taking over as a player-coach in 2002 and later as head coach.

“We have worked with Kaunda for over 20 years.I found him when I joined the team in 1996 and I thus openly say that he was a very social person who was always there for one at the hour of need,”  Mugambi said.

In honour of his late husband, Kaunda’s widow Amina Juma was handed the trophy on Sunday in what turned to be a mourning day for the hockey fraternity.

On the other hand, women premier league winners Telkom lifted the title for a record 20th time after the nine-time African champions navigated through the league unbeaten.

Before that, however, the Jos Openda led team hit league minnows Mombasa Sports Club 10-0 in their last match of the season to cap a fantastic season in which apart from finishing unbeaten, they only conceded a measly three goals.

The weekend was also a good day in the office for the lethal Jackie Mwangi who bagged a hat-trick to take her goal tally to 28 thus winning the top scorer’s accolade ahead of her teammate Audrey Omaido who scored 22 goals.

In the other two matches played over the weekend, Western Jaguars finished the season in a low after losing back-to-back matches, falling 2-1 against KCAU on Saturday before falling 3-1 to fourth-placed United States International University (USIU).

The league now takes a break ahead of the 2018/19 season scheduled to kick off early April.