When the Kenya Cup resumes on Saturday 8th January 2011 following the Christmas break, all eyes will be on league leaders and defending champions Kenya Harlequin FC.

TOP HALF

Holding a massive seven point lead over second placed Impala RFC, the quartered shirts must garner 29 points if they are to claim a second successive title. This would see them with 64 points. This outcome is only possible if Impala register bonus point victories in all their return leg, an outcome that would give the red shirts 63 points. This is just but a hypothetical situation; remember that sport is as unpredictable as a Kenyan politician’s moral standing and we must give room for the expected unexpected outcomes that will surely come our way in the form of upset results.

Only a point separates third placed Mwamba RFC from fourth placed Kenya Commercial Bank . The black shirts had a somewhat consistent run, winning five of their seven matches, collecting 23 points. Can they do it again come the second leg? We will just have to wait and see. KCB are only a point behind on 22 points and will be out to set the record straight when they face the black shirts who handed them a 22-17 defeat in the reverse fixture. At the risk of sounding cocky, it would be safe to assume that the winner of the KCB-Mwamba duel will jump up to third. Challenging for the league title may be too tough a question to ask but this is sport…anything is possible.

LOWER HALF

Nondescript RUFC lie fifth, with 13 points coming courtesy of three wins and four defeats. What will it take for them to climb into the league’s top half? A string of horrendous performances from Mwamba and KCB coupled with a great run of form on their part. Can they do it? My guess is as good as yours.

Sixth placed Strathmore Leos started the 2010/2011 campaign on a high, winning their opening two fixtures, climbing to second on the log. This was followed by a string of five successive defeats that saw them plunge to their current position. They trail Nondies by the single point. The second leg promises to be a lot more competitive, especially in the league’s lower rungs.

Nakuru RFC find themselves in unfamiliar territory, seventh placed, having failed to register any win during the first leg. After a fickle start that saw them lose easily to Nondies and Strathmore, the Wanyore dug deep into their reserves, roping in Erick Situma on to their technical bench. They resultantly gave battling performances in subsequent fixtures against Impala, Quins and Mwamba. It will be interesting to see how they acquit themselves come the second leg. They will definitely seek to lift themselves out of the Kenya Cup’s cellar and return to the dizzying heights that they occupied over the past four years.

Mean Machine also had a torrid start to the league, a factor that was compounded by player unavailability. Their best result was a draw against fellow basement side Nakuru. A better second leg performance is weighing heavily on Head Coach Sidney Obonyo’s mind. The varsity side will definitely want to pull themselves out of the league’s lower rungs and avoid the relegation axe at the end of the season.

 

ERIC SHIRLEY SHIELD

The second division Eric Shirley Shield also resumes this weekend with eight teams taking part in the quarter finals. Defending champions Homeboyz host Webuye in this first leg fixture as they seek to retain the title and finally enter the Kenya Cup next season. Paul Murunga’s side start as overwhelming favorites against a Webuye side who managed to exceed all expectations by making it to the knockout stage. Hosts KCB II start as favourites against Kakamega. Kisumu RFC travel to Nairobi to play Quins II while Impala II host Masinde Muliro.

 

UNIVERSITIES

Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad seek to extend their imperious run of form when they host Shepherds in a quarter final fixture at the Kenyatta University. Blad are out to win the title and will be clear faovurites heading into this tie.

Impala Bucks play Homeboyz II in what should be an entertaining fixture, arguably the top bill in the Universities competition.

 

Collated Fixtures

Saturday 8th January 2011

 

KENYA CUP

Strathmore v Quins (TBC)

Machine v KCB (University of Nairobi)

Mwamba v Impala (Nairobi Railway Club)

Nondies v Nakuru (Jamhuri Park)

Kick Off: 4.30pm

 

ERIC SHIRLEY SHIELD

Quarter Finals First Leg

Homeboyz v Webuye (University of Nairobi)

KCB II v Kakamega (Ruaraka)

Impala II v Masinde Muliro (Impala Club)

Quins II v Kisumu RFC (RFUEA)

Kick Off: 3.00pm

 

E.S.S Bowl Quarters First Leg

Mombasa v Kisii (TBC)

Mwamba II v Siaya (Nairobi Railway Club)

Strathmore II v Maseno (TBC)

Nakuru II v Bungoma (Nakuru Athletic Club)

Kick Off: 3.00pm

 

Universities Quarter Finals First Leg

Blak Blad v Shepherds (Kenyatta University, 3.00pm)

Kabarak v Kenya Poly (Kabarak, 3.00pm)

Moi University v USIU (Moi, 3.00pm)

Impala III v Homeboyz II (Impala Club, 1.00pm)

Universities Bowl Quarter Finals First Leg

Egerton v Daystar (Egerton,3.00pm)

KCA v Spartans (3.00pm)

KeMU v Oryx (KeMU, Meru, 3.00pm)

Catholic v Nazarene (CUEA, 3.00pm)

Let the games begin….l

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