Solid Kwanthanze clinch fourth national title as Serani triumph in Football U-16
It was an epic volleyball final which lacks superlatives to define! But at the whistle Kwanthanze, at their impeccable best clinched a fourth national volleyball girl’s title at the expense of Cheptil, completing a hat-trick of titles – three successive ones – as the Term Two national school games came to an end on Saturday, in the humid lakeside city of Kisumu.
At a packed Kisumu Polytechnic court, the final served up a gripping five-setter ending in favour of the Machakos based team with swing sets of 26-24, 13-25, 22-25, 25-18 and 15-5. To say that the finale was mouth watering would be an understatement, but the scoreline does not betray what went on in the court. Knees were scarred, spikes were venomous, the blocks robust and the end game value for time and money.
One set down, Kwanthanze’s first six thrown into disarray and confidence falling, head coach Justine Kigwari made two changes and his charges clicked clinching the next two sets , but needing only to win the fourth set, determined Rift Valley based opponents bounced back to settle the score sending the tie to a decider tie.
With the break-neck tie now anyone’s to win, Kwanthanze corrected their undoing in poor service oozing to the victory with a big margin of 15-5 points in the fifth set to emerge victorious. Immediately they broke into dance, hugging and pecking while others just sunk to their knees.
For the second time in three years Kwanthanze stood between the Ann Birgen coached side success after meeting in 2017 finals held in Nyeri where the former won 3-0 .
On their way to clinching their fourth East Africa title in Rwanda last year, Kwanthanze also clashed with their common opponent in semi-finals winning 3-2 and the two arch-rivals will again renew rivalry in Tanzania during this year’s action set for August 17-26.
Speaking after the triumph, Kwanthanze tactician Kigwari praised his charges for the feat while shifting focus to East Africa show.
“It was a tough game and we expected that because our opponents are equally good and I know we will meet again in Tanzania and my focus has shifted to East Africa action,” he told Citizen Digital.
His opposite number Ann Birgen opined that her team has come of age and they are ready to right their wrongs in the Arusha showpiece.
“They are a good team, but you saw we gave them a real test and they should be worried ahead of East Africa games because we will capitalize on their weaknesses,” she underscored.
In boy’s contest, Nyanza’s Mogonga easily saw of Lelmokwo from Rift Valley by straight sets of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-13 to win their maiden national title.
In Under-16 football action, Serani emerged victorious in boy’s category while Wiyeta reclaimed their girl’s title with the two teams earning tickets to represent Kenya in Copa Coca-Cola Africa Tournament to be played later this year.
Serani from Coast capped their mesmeric run with a 1-0 win against Western champions Koyonzo in the finals while Wiyeta beat Maeni 2-1 in girls thrilling final to win their second title after three-year hiatus.
The winners and runners up in each discipline alongside Term One champions bar football Under-16 will represent Kenya in the upcoming East Africa Secondary Schools Games.
Mogonga Vs Lelmwoko 3-0
Kwanthanze Vs Cheptil 3-2
Football U-16 Boys
Serani Vs Koyonzo 1-0
Football U-16 Girls
Wiyeta Vs Maeni 2-1