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National hockey bronze medallists escape Dagoretti trap to make semis

Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) national hockey bronze medallists Upper Hill had to fight hard to ward off stiff competition from rivals Dagoretti to qualify for the boys’ semi-finals set for today at Nairobi School.

The fourth place finishers at last year’s East Africa competition had to dig deep for an equaliser four minutes into the second half of the highly-charged match after ‘Dago’ had taken the lead in the eighth minute through David Ndathi’s beautifully taken goal.

The Nairobi region defending champions had numerous chances to level matters in the first half but the opponents kept their defence tight, forcing the holders to change tact.

Just four minutes into the second half, their efforts paid off as Eliakim Teka equalised for the match to end in a draw in regulation time. The penalty shootout went Upper Hill’s way as they grabbed a 2-1 win.

“This was a very balanced match and our opponents did their homework well on how to play us. We had our chances which we did not convert but my players were confident with the shootout and I am glad we won,” said coach Dennis Wekesa.

In another boys’ quarter-final, Hillcrest scored two early goals in the sixth and eighth minutes against Moi Forces Academy which were enough to book them a semis berth.

In the girls’ category, Nairobi region defending champions Mt Laverna were not as lucky as Brenda Jepkemoi’s 40th minute goal was all State House needed to eliminate them at the quarter-finals stage.

 Laverna earned the ticket to represent Nairobi region at last year’s nationals after dethroning Moi Girls.

In another girls’ quarter-final, Hillcrest booked a semis spot after settling for a goalless draw with Starehe in regular play. Makena Mugambi and Chelsea Weru converted their shots for Hillcrest as Starehe’s Beatrice Amoit converted her shot for a 2-1 win.

Meanwhile, in the absence of girls’ handball defending champions New Jogoo Road, Bururburu thrashed Highridge 21-6 as Nile Road edged Langata 11-7 while Dagoretti Mixed whipped Ruaraka 39-10 to book their places in the semis. Lavington beat Our Lady of Mercy Shauri Moyo 22-7 for the last semis spot.

In boys’ handball, holders Lenana advanced to the semis after a 27-6 win over Dr Ribeiro while Dagoretti Mixed registered a 25-17 win against Langata.  Hospital Hill also advanced after beating hosts Nairobi School 23-12.

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