By: BRIAN YONGA
Defending champions Butali Sugar Warriors launch their second leg campaign of the Kenya Hockey Union men’s premier league against Parklands Hockey club Saturday evening at the City Park Stadium.
The fixture is one of 11 league matches lined up for this weekend in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa.
Warriors reclaimed the top spot from rivals Kenya Police two weeks ago to end the first leg at the summit of the standings and will be aiming to move three points clear with a win.
The lake-side club won the reverse fixture 7-1 in the first leg and will be confident of chalking up another win as they seek to defend their crown.
Warriors coach Cliffe Okello has however warned his charges against underestimating their opponents who lie second from bottom in the 15-league team.
“I am sure they (Parklands) have prepared adequately for this fixture and we therefore need to be on top of our game if we want to take the three points,” Okello warned. Parklands coach James Wamae has challenged the team to stand up to the champions.
“We are battling relegation and we need to avoid dropping more points, it will be a difficult match against the champions but I don’t see why we cannot get something from the game,” Wamae told Saturday Nation Sport.
Defeat for the Nairobi-based side will leave them in 14th place, five points from safety in their debut season in the top-flight league.
The team will need to be wary of Warriors’ attacking trio of Barnabus Odhiambo, Seth Oburu and Zack Aura who are firing on all cylinders.
Buoyed by last weekend’s 1-0 win over Strathmore Scorpions, Sliders will be looking to record back to back wins when they come up against Mount Kenya University in women’s national league.
The fixture will be preceded by the clash between university sides Daystar Falcons and Kenyatta University Titans at noon.
On Sunday, women’s national league champions Telkom Orange take on United States International University (USIU) Spartans as they seek to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games.
Orange are eight points clear at the top and will use the match as part of their preparations for next month’s Africa Club Championship set for Lusaka, Zambia.
In other games on Sunday, third-placed Greensharks take on USIU men’s team at City Park in a premier league clash while debutants KU Vultures will be away to Nakuru in another encounter.
In the men’s second-tier league, Chase Sailors can move a step closer to promotion with victory against University of Nairobi.
All matches at City Park Stadium unless stated
National women: Daystar v KU Titans (12pm), Sliders v MKU (2pm)
National men: Bay v MKU (3pm) – Kisumu, Chase v UON (4pm)
Premier men: Butali v Parklands (6pm)
National women: Vikings v JKAUT (9am), Orange v USIU (1pm)
National men: Multimedia v Kimathi (11am)
Premier men: Nakuru v KU (10am) – Nakuru, Greensharks v USIU (3pm), MSC v Mvita (3pm) – Mombasa,
SOURCE: DAILY NATION