Fabian Olando’s last gasp penalty saw Kenya Commercial Bank pull off a 32-29 win over Mwamba RFC in the Kenya Cup’s top bill at the Nairobi Railway Club.

This match definitely lived up to the hype surrounding it, as both sides touched down five times each. It was the visiting bankers who started the match on a high, taking the game to their opponents. An early scrummage saw KCB eighth man John Ahenda break, setting up a rolling maul that saw them enter Mwamba’s twenty five yard zone. Scrum half Peter Mutai would play in Daniel Turungi who dinked past Lavin Asego to score under the posts. Mutai’s conversion giving the Lions a 7-0 lead.

Mwamba’s response was immediate, Humphrey Kayange receiving the ball on the burst, gaining thirty yards as Kulabu entered KCB’s twenty five. The black shirts would see more of the ball as they camped in KCB territory and were rewarded when George Mbaye barged over, taking the scores to 7-5. Tito Oduk’s conversion was successful as the teams were level at 7-7.

Asego would soon deliver a deft chip that winger Eric Avungala did well to gather and ground. Oduk missed this conversion as Mwamba led 12-7.

KCB winger Calvins Biko would soon dance past three Mwamba players, playing in Matthew Musita who did well to keep the ball alive for Mutai who offloaded to Anthony Ogot. Ogot inexplicably dropped the ball with the try line in sight. KCB pressure would soon pay off when Ahenda would break from a scrummage in the middle of the park, passing the ball to center Andrew Amonde who waltzed past his opposite number Kevin Wambua before offloading to Anthony Ochino who touched down under the posts to level the scores at 12-12. Mutai’s conversion saw the bankers inch ahead 14-12.

Turungi fluffed a chance to put KCB further ahead when Asego stole the ball off him as he prepared to launch himself on to the try line.

Avungala gave Biko the slip, racing forty yards to complete his double by touching down at the corner. Oduk missed the conversion with Mwamba leading 17-14. What a frenetic first half the fans were being treated to….

Mwamba threatened to stretch their lead when Humphrey Kayange broke deep in his half before being stopped by Musita’s crunching tackle that saw him spill the ball, handing KCB possession in the form of a scrum down. The Lions would form another rolling maul before Mutai’s searching kick saw them win a line out on the Mwamba twenty five. Retaining possession from the line out, KCB would retake the lead after Derrick Wamalwa grounded the ball from the resultant maul. Mutai missed the conversion.

Half time score

KCB 19 Mwamba 17

The second half began pretty much as the first half had, lukewarm before suddenly bursting into life. KCB winger Biko gathered his own kick, out sprinted his marker and touched down at the corner, extending KCB’s lead to 24-17.

Unlike the frenetically paced first half, the second half was a more controlled affair, characterized by set piece play from both sides. KCB had their noses ahead in terms of territory and possession. They would camp in Mwamba’s five yard but Asego’s massive touch kick got the black shirts out of jail, only for a moment. Collins Injera would soon break for Mwamba, only to be denied by Musita’s try saving tackle on the line.

The Lions regained possession and kept prodding the hosts, winning a penalty that they took out to touch. They would retain possession from the line out and former Kenya Sevens international Dennis Mwanja capped his fine day in the office by scoring KCB’s fifth try off a maul. Mutai missed this conversion with the scores at 29-17.

A lapse in concentration saw Mwamba grow in confidence and would cut the deficit when Kayange touched down from substitute Collins Omae’s cross kick. Oduk missed this conversion as KCB held on 29-22.

With minutes left on the clock, KCB thought they had scored when Ronnie Mwenesi danced through the Mwamba defense with referee Godwin Karuga playing the advantage from Collins Injera’s knock on. Mwenesi would touch down, only to be adjudged to have gone beyond the dead ball area.

Mwamba would catch KCB napping from Mwenesi’s overruled try, Omae racing to score close to the posts. Oduk was sure with this conversion which leveled the scores at 29-29.

KCB, out to avenge their first leg loss to Mwamba, came back furiously, eating into their opponents half and earning a penalty twenty seven yards out. Fabian Olando kept his cool to drill this kick over, handing the Lions the win and five points for scoring four tries. Mwamba earned two bonus points, scoring four tries and losing by less than seven points. KCB are now third on 32 points while Mwamba stay fourth on 29 points.

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