Special Correspondent @PeopleSports11
National rugby 15s champions Upper Hill secured a hard-fought 13-12 win over compatriots Kakamega School in an all-Kenyan tie on Day Two of the East African School Games in Musanze, Rwanda.
Hooker Abutwalib Wesonga inspired Upper Hill as he kicked in two penalties and also successful converted Brian Kimani’s try to help his side to a first win.
Kakamega’s Timothy Omella also kicked four penalty conversions for his side but it was not enough to help the six-time champions avoid defeat. Upper Hill skipper Smith Rolf noted that the match was like a final and admitted that the win would prove to be a huge psychological boost in the round-robin competition.
“Getting a win against one of our title rivals is very crucial and I believe that gives us an edge for the rest of the tournament, “ Rolf said.
Upper Hill, who are looking for a maiden regional title to add to their national crown, will take on another Kenyan side Menengai High School in their second match today. The match will be a repeat of this year’s national final in Embu, which the Nairobi-based side won 15-12 in sudden death.
Kakamega will face Ugandan side King’s College Buddo as they look to bounce back from the loss to Upper Hill.
“We face an uphill task to reclaim the title with this loss but we have to believe we can still fight and win the crown,” Kakamega coach Amos Wamanga said. In boys’ football, Kenyan side Olbolosat ‘s bow at the competition saw them lose 1-0 to homeside Lycee du Kigali in their Pool A opener at the Ubworoherane Stadium.
In boys’ handball, Kenya’s Kanyawanga High School went down 24-32 to Rwandese side Adegi in their opening tie. In girls’ matches, champions Kibuli Secondary School of Uganda nicked a 25-21 win over Kenyan outfit.
Elsewhere, Kenyan champions Kaya Tiwi and Upper Hill yesterday recorded opening wins in the girls’ and boys’ basketball competitions respectively.
Kaya Tiwi, who won the regional girls’ basketaball title in 2016, secured a 54- 39 win over homeside Lycee De Kigali in their Pool B opener.
Kaya Tiwi guard Teresa Othuon led her side’s offence with 19 points, while Julia Akoth chipped in 10 points. Emerance Umuheba was LDK’s top scorer with nine points.
Kaya Tiwi captain Caroline Njeri noted the importance of getting an opening win at the tourney.
“We had a poor start but we were able to settle down and managed to play our game which proved to be too much for them and we are glad we got the win,” Njeri said.
The three-time Kenyan champions trailed LDK 0-7 at one point the first quarter, but recovered to level 10-10 by the end of the first quarter.
There was no looking back for the Kenyan girls as they took the second quarter 20- 4 to lead 30-14 at the breather. The third quarter was tightly contested but Kaya Tiwi outscored the hosts 15-14 but LDK led the fourth quarter 11-9.
Debutantes Butere were given a rude welcome to the games by 2015 winners St Mary’s Kitende from Uganda, who handed them 70-27 thrashing in Group A.