Title favourites St Anthony’s and Kisumu face-off

By: BRIAN YONGA

St Anthony’s from Nzoia Region and Lake Region’s Kisumu Day clash Thursday morning in a mouth-watering encounter as the Airtel Rising Stars secondary schools national Term Two ‘B’ ball games enter the third day in Machakos.

The Pool A clash is expected to be closely fought between these two schools, who are both front runners to lift the national title with the absence of Kakamega High School.

St Anthony’s, who have won the national title four times with their last title coming in 2012 in Mombasa against Upper Hill, beat Highland Region’s Kathungi School 4-2 in their opening match while Kisumu recorded a 3-0 win over Garissa High from Northern Region.

The match will be a repeat of the 2005 final in Kakamega where the Nzoia Region school won. Kisumu Day coach, Dan Otieno, said the game will be like any other match but oozed confidence the players will get the job done.

“We lost nine players last year but we have a good squad that can compete at the national level. We will not consider ourselves favourites until we get our hands on the title. We respect every team in this competition,” Otieno said.

The other pool match will see Kathungi take on Garissa High where the former must win to qualify for the semi-finals. In Pool B, Metropolitan Region’s Laiser Hill will take on Waa Boys from Coast Region, while Passenga from Aberdares Region tackle Simotwo from Mau Region as the pool matches come to a close.

Laiser Hill will be looking to end the preliminary stage with a 100 per cent record. Passenga and Waa will both be looking to qualify from Pool B and join Laiser Hill who have already sealed their spot in the semi-final.

In girls’ football, Olympic from Metropolitan Region play St John’s Kaloleni from Coast Region in what should be a cracking tie in Pool A while Nzoia champions Wiyeta face Kirigara from Highland Region. In Pool B, Kobala take on Nginda to see which team tops the pool while Eburu face Kikima to determine the third and fourth place finishers in the pool.

GETTING BETTER EACH DAY

In boys’ volleyball, Hospital Hill take on last year’s runners-up and a four-time champions Cheptil in their last preliminary match. This match will determine who finishes top in the group after both teams won their two opening pool matches. Cheptil, from Mau Region, beat Hospital Hill 3-2 in the preliminary stage in Kakamega last year.

Both teams will be out to claim victory as the loser will most likely face defending champions Malava Boys, who are on course to top the other pool. Hospital Hill coach, Francis Mwangi, said his team will have to be on their best as they take on Cheptil but believes his team can win the match.