3 June 2018

Kenya: Aura Double Powers Butali to 2018 Mcha Indoor Title

Former Kenya international Zack Aura sunk a brace as Butali Sugar Warriors edged out Kenya Police "A" 2-1 to lift this year's Mcha National Indoor Hockey Festival title at Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa over the weekend.

Aura notched the opener for Butali in the 10th minute before Robert Masibo levelled for Police in the 13 minute.

Aura then put the 2015 national champion Butali ahead in the 15th minute as the Kisumu-based side held on to their lead until the final whistle.

Butali beat United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) 1-0 in the semi-finals thanks to an Aura 15th minute goal that made all the difference in the match.

In the other semis, Amos Barkibir and Willis Okeyo sunk a double apiece as Police "A" dismantled Strathmore "A" 4-1.

Butali had earlier stopped Parklands 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

The sugar millers, unbeaten the entire tournament, opened their quest for the title by crushing Impala Vetos 5-0 before they were forced to a 1-1 draw by Strathmore.

SILENCED OPPONENTS

Butali, who are handled by Dennis Owoka, silenced Mombasa Sports Club "B" 3-0 and Mvita 3-1 to advance to the quarters.

Police "A", who had outclassed Nairobi Simba 2-0 in the quarter-finals, won three matches besides drawing one in the preliminaries.

They drew with USIU-A 1-1 before beating Strathmore "A" 2-0, Mombasa Sports Club "A" 3-0 and Mombasa West 4-0.

Butali coach Dennis Owoka said the Mombasa trip gave them an opportunity to review their performance ahead of the next round of matches of the Premier League.

"We went there to have fun but also ventilate and recharge ahead of the continuation of the league," said Owoka.

"It's prudent to review our performance knowing that we are meeting Police next.

STRATEGY

"Our strategy in the indoor game really let us down with the rules also proving a big challenge," said Kenya Police "A" skipper Oliver Echenje.

"It was interesting since we were allowed to lift the ball only when scoring."

Though league leaders Butali will miss action this weekend, they will resume on June 17 with a clash against champions Police.

Last year, Police beat Butali 2-1 in the first leg before drawing 1-1 in the second leg.

Butali, the only team yet to lose this season, top the 12 teams standings with 21 points, three better than Police, who are second.

Greensharks are third on 16 followed by Wazalendo at 10 points.

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