Champs Butali lead, Police in hot pursuit


The Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League title race took another twist this weekend as champions Butali Sugar Warriors moved to the top of the table at the expense of rivals Kenya Police.

Police, who had topped the standings since August, failed to get maximum points in their two matches over the weekend, allowing Butali to reclaim the leadership on goal difference as both teams completed their first leg fixtures tied on points.

Warriors were ruthless in their weekend matches, thrashing Mombasa Sports Club and Mvita XI 8-1 and 5-0, respectively, to push their points tally to 37, same as Police, but with a 17-goal advantage.

However, Police bounced back from Saturday’s disappointing 0-0 draw with Strathmore University Gladiators to beat Wazalendo 3-0 in Sunday’s late kick-off.

Kenya international Samuel Wokila scored a second-half hat trick to sink Wazalendo, but the law enforcers will be disappointed with two dropped points.

Police coach Kenneth Kaunda however believes the league is far from decided and challenged his charges to shrug off the weekend’s setback.

“This is a very competitive league and there are still a lot of matches to be played,” Kaunda told Daily Nation Sport. “We are disappointed we could not reap maximum points, but it is not the end of the world. We will keep fighting.”

His Butali counterpart Cliffe Okello said: “Police allowed us back in and we will try to ensure that we don’t drop any more points.

“But it won’t be easy because teams are training hard.”

The two teams, who have each lost once in the league, now turn their attention to next month’s African Club Championship in Zambia. The next three spots remain unchanged with Greensharks, Sikh Union Nairobi and USIU occupying third, fourth and fifth places, in that order.

In the women’s National League, USIU Spartans moved into fourth place with 17 points.

Telkom Orange remain perched at the top with 30 points, eight ahead of Strathmore Scorpions. JKUAT moved into eighth place after their first victory this season, 3-0 over Daystar Falcons.