Nail-biter as Impala turn tables on KCB to lift Floodies title

Nail-biter as Impala turn tables on KCB to lift Floodies title

Impala Saracens turned the tables on titleholders KCB Lions to lift the Impala Floodlit trophy following a riveting tension-packed cliff-hanger of a final played on Saturday that eventually ended 33-32.

There was no home heartbreak for the hosts who fell to the Lions last year as they completed their revenge- but only just- after recovering from a 13-15 deficit at half time to send their fans into raptures when the final hooter at Impala Grounds in Nairobi went off.

The dethroned champions KCB started on high with a converted try by the Shujaa captain Andrew Amonde to lead 7-0 in the opening minutes.

Quinto Ongo was there for the Sarries to narrow down the gap with a successful penalty kick to make it 7-3.

Impala continued to pressure their opponents with their effort leading to a try scored by Dennis Karani, Quinto converting to gift his team the lead for the first time of the game.

The outstanding Ongo came again to rescue his team adding a penalty to make it 13-7.

The bankers captain of the day David Mukidza kept his team in touch scoring a penalty as they went ahead to retake the lead with youngster Collins Nato scoring the try with the conversion going wide to make it 15-13 at halftime.

In the second half, KCB fans had something to smile about after they extended their lead to 20-13, with the Sarries reducing the lead through Ongo’s penalty.

Kenya 7s Olympian Sammy Oliech who recovered from his hamstring injury, was on the score sheet for Impala scoring a try with the conversion well taken to lead 23-20.

The Sarries continued to showcase their stylish game scoring a try through inspirational captain Duncan Ekasi which was then converted to extend their lead to 10.

With the defending champions trailing, luck came to their way after their opponents were reduced to 14 after Oliech was given matching orders for getting a yellow card.

The bankers responded with a try from Peter Karia, with a conversion well taken by Mukidza to take them within three points of the Sarries.

The game was getting out of the Sarries hand after Dennis Karani was sin binned to reduce them to 13 players as they held a slender 30-27 lead over the Bankers.

Nato Simiyu utilized a nice chance on his way to score a penalty to extend Impalas’ lead.

In the dying minutes of the game KCB scored a try but missed the conversion that would have seen them retain their title as Impala held on to pinch the crown.

The first match of the day kicked off at  11.00am (+3GMT) with Thika Road Franchise being crowned the champions of Impala Floodlit tournament Women’s category by outclassing Ngong Road Franchsise 10-8.

Defending schools champions Laiser Hill Academy braved a second half fight back by Ofafa Jericho to clinch a third successive Floodies title with a 21-15 victory.

In the varsities category Menengai Oilers won their first ever 15s title in the Kenyan Rugby after beating Blakblad II 24-16 in the finals.

Then Menengai Cream Homeboyz was crowned the Plate winners of the Impala Floodlit Tournament after beating Strathmore Leos 22-18.

– Report by Kenerickson Njeru and Richard Obaga

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