By: BRIAN YONGA
New boys’ and girls’ football champions will be crowned as the Airtel Rising Stars Secondary Schools National Term Two ‘B’ Games come to a close on Saturday at the Machakos School.
In the boys’ final, Metropolitan Region’s Laiser Hill will take on Aberdare Region’s Passenga High while the girls’ final will see Lake Region’s Kobala Girls tackle Wiyeta Girls from Nzoia Region.
Passenga tossed out favourites Kisumu Day from Lake Region 4-3 on post-match penalties after the teams tied 1-1 after regular time to qualify for their first ever national final.
James Kinyanjui was the hero of the day after scoring the winning penalty for Passenga.
“We have waited for this moment for so many years but now we are one win away from lifting our maiden national title. We believe we can do it and the players are looking forward to it,” said Passenga captain Patrick Oganji.
Laiser Hill on the other hand edged out Kathungi 2-0, who benefited from St Anthony’s disqualification from the competition, to reach their maiden final. Second half goals from Edwin Ochieng and Kennedy were enough to send Laiser to the final.
The final will be a repeat of their preliminary match which Laiser Hill won 2-1 but their team manager Shaban Baraza believes it will be a whole new ball game.
“This is the final and two great teams will be battling for the title, our result in the earlier stages will count for nothing but it will certainly help us gauge the kind of opponents we are up against,” Baraza told Nation Sport.
Both teams have sealed their spots to the East African Games set for Rwanda next month.
In the girls’ match, Kobala upset 2013 champions Olympic Mixed 1-0 in their semi-final to qualify for their first national final.
“We have worked hard to reach this final and we want to complete this event by taking the title back to Kisumu,” said Kobala captain Caren Akeyo.
Wiyeta on the other hand beat Aberdare Region’s Nginda Girls 3-1 in the other semi-final to qualify for their first final since 2009 where they lost to St Teresa in Nairobi.
“We have achieved our first target of making it to the East African games and we want to complete the double by reclaiming the national title which has eluded us for so long,” said Wiyeta coach Edgar Manyara.
In volleyball, defending champions Malava Boys and Kwanthanze Girls will be seeking to retain their titles when they take on Hospital Hill (Metropolitan) and AIC Kosirai (Mau Region) respectively.
Malava, who beat Cheptil 3-0 (25-13,25-22,25-18) in their semi-final, will renew their rivalry with Hospital Hill, who beat Coast Region’s Mivumoni High 3-2 (22-25,25-23,24-26,25-12,15-7) in the other semi-final.
Hospital Hill coach Francis Mwangi expects a tough encounter but said his team’s sheer determination will help them carry the day.
“Concentration will be key in this match and the team that adheres to this will carry the day. I believe my team can win it but our opponents are a good side,” Mwangi said.
Kwanthanze will be wary of AIC Kosirai, who upset twenty-time champions Lugulu Girls 3-0 (25-20,25-22,27-25) in their semi-final. Kwanthanze beat Tetu Girls of Aberdare 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-17) in their semi-final to edge close to claiming their third consecutive title.