Butali tackle Wazalendo as hockey league takes shape
- Butali and Wazalendo go into the match in a contrasting fashion after last weekend’s matches.
Champions Butali Sugar Warriors have a chance of going clear atop of the men’s hockey Premier League when they take on Wazalendo on Saturday at the City Park Stadium.
Butali and Wazalendo go into the match in a contrasting fashion after last weekend’s matches.
The champions are inspired after they edged out Nairobi Simba Union 3-1 at City Park to move to the summit of the standings while Wazalendo hope to put behind the disappointment of losing their unbeaten start to the season, crushing to Western Jaguars 2-0 in Kakamega.
The victory against Nairobi Simba saw Butali return to the top of the men’s table with 13 points while the loss to Jaguars proved costly for Wazalendo who dropped from the summit to third place with 12 points.
Jaguars scaled two places to second in the league with 13 points, losing the top spot to Butali on inferior goal difference.
Also last weekend, former champions Kenya Police dropped vital points after they were forced to 2-2 draw by stubborn United States International University -Africa (USIU-A) at City Park.
Jaguars, who had previously stunned former champions Nairobi Simba and Strathmore University Gladiators, have four wins, a draw and a loss while Wazalendo have four wins and one loss.
In fact, Western Jaguars enjoyed a short stint at the summit until Butali came calling with a swift victory against Nairobi Simba.
Bruised Strathmore University Gladiators eye their first win of the season when they take on fifth-placed Greensharks in Saturday’s other Premier League match.
From their five outings, Gladiators, who are placed at the bottom of the 10-team league, have lost four, drawing once while Greensharks are perched at the middle of the table with nine points drawn from three wins and two losses.
Butali Warriors will go for the second weekend without their inspirational playmaker Zack Aura, who is away but head coach Dennis Owoka said they are ready to take the battle to Wazalendo.
Owoka said that even though they beat Wazalendo last season home and away 3-0 and 2-1 respectively, Fidelis Kimanzi’s side have already proved that they are among the title contenders this season. “We have studied their systems this year and what we need to do is tighten our defence,” said Owoka.
With defending champions Telkom not in action, their rivals will be playing catch-up to close in on them at the top of the women’s Premier League.
Second-placed United States International University (USIU) take on Strathmore Scorpions on Sunday at City Park, a day after unbeaten Lakers will have hosted Amira Sailors in Kisumu.
Still on Saturday, former champions Sliders take on Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Telkom are top with 11 points from three wins and two draws. USIU and Lakers have seven points each but the varsity students get to occupy the second place in the league on a superior goal difference. Amira are fourth with five points.
USIU have two wins, a draw and loss, Lakers have one win and four draws while Amira have one win, two draws and one loss.