Butali seek Gladiators scalp to keep pace with Police
Defending champions Kenya Police and Butali Sugar Warriors face tricky opponents as the men’s hockey Premier League enters the penultimate stage this weekend.
Police are away to Nakuru Club at Greenstead while Strathmore Gladiators host Butali Sugar at City Park Stadium on Sunday.
Police top the league with 57 points from 19 wins and a loss while Butali, who are placed second, have 54 points from 18 wins and two losses. Police’s only defeat was a 4-3 loss to Greensharks during the first leg.
Butali lost 3-0 to Police in the first leg before also going down 1-0 to Parkroad Badgers in the second leg.
This weekend’s matches will then pave way for the last matches of the season next weekend where the highlight will be the Kenya Police and Butali Sugar clash.
That is why Sunday’s matches will be crucial for their title ambitions. If they all win this weekend, Police will only require a draw in the season-ender to retain the title while a win doesn’t guarantee Butali the title. They will bank on superior goal difference to win.
KHU chairman Nahashon Randiek indicated that the results are valid until the union’s executive committee convenes to make a final decision upon the conclusion of investigations. He said the verdict will be delivered before the league ends.
Randiek reiterated that they are investigating whether there was possibility of match-fixing during the November 3 tie played at City Park.
The decision by KHU pushed Police to the top of the standings with 57 points, three better than arch-rivals Butali Sugar Warriors.
Wazalendo, in a protest against what they deemed to be biased officiating by one of the umpires, allowed Kenya Police to score goals at will in the last 10 minutes and eventually lost 16-2 in the ill-tempered duel.
The women’s Premier League has already been decided with Telkom having claimed its 19th consecutive victory. Their battle with arch-rivals Strathmore Scorpions next weekend will be a mere formality.
As Police and Butali Sugar keep each other on check, the battle for promotion and relegation in the men’s Premier League continues.
Three teams will be relegated from the Premier League with only one being promoted from the Super League. Nairobi Simba (24), who have completed their matches, Parkroad Badgers (22), Nakuru (20), KCA-U (19) and Western Jaguars (18) are all relegation candidates.
Badgers and KCA-U have one match each to go while Nakuru and Jaguars both have two left to finish the league.
Chase Sailors and Multi-Media University are engaged in a thrilling promotion battle. Sailors, who top the Super League with 42 points have two matches to end the season while Multi-Media, who are one point adrift, have three matches left.