Champions Butali Sugar Warriors will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways when they play hosts Western Jaguars in tricky Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League match set for Saturday in Kakamega.
Warriors who are seeking to successfully defend their crown dropped points last weekend in a barren draw with Greensharks at the City Park Stadium.
While they remain unbeaten, the Dennis Owoka-coached side have dropped points thrice this season therefore failing to consolidate their lead at the top of the table a move that saw former champions Kenya Police, who will not be in action this weekend move to within a point off the leaders on 15 points from seven matches.
They will be hoping for maximum points against a youthful Jaguars side who are ranked fourth on the log with 13 points.
“The boys are hungry for a win. The dressing room is alive and raring to go,” Owoka said in reference to last week’s dropped points. Owoka whose side has never lost to Jaguars says the match will be tricky and not big given by their previous record including thumping them 6-0 last season.
“We expect them to park the bus and hit all balls forward and hope for a deflection,” Owoka asserted.
While Jaguars who started the season on the high have been playing attacking game this season, Owoka disagrees.
“It depends on whom they are playing,” he said. Despite double defeats from their previous two matches, Peter Okova’s side remain the most improved side in the men’s premier league.
“For the boys that will be a big match, I know history is not on our side, but we have an opportunity to slay a big side,” said Okova.
On Saturday former champions Strathmore University Gladiators, who are currently on their worst ever start ofthe season will play United States International University Africa USIU-A, hoping for a victory to take them off the bottom of the log.
Gladiators season is summed up in solitary win, single draw and a whooping five defeats from their opening seven matches to leave them with four points. The latest defeat was a 1-0 to Kenya Police last week.
In the other men’s top flight league third placed Wazalendo will play eighth placed Parklands Sports Club at the City Park Stadium.
In the women’s Premier League debutants Kisumu Lakers travel to Nairobi to play sponsor-less Telkom on Sunday. Both sides are on 11 points. All matches at the City park stadium unless stated.