Champs Warriors off to a flying start

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men Premier League champions Butali Sugar Warriors got their 2019 season off to a flying start as they bid to retain the title  edging newcomer Chase Sailors 2-0 at the City Park on Sunday.

Warriors were the first to show intent of scoring but it was Sailor’s Douglas Nyerere who forced a fine save from Butali’s keeper Linus Sang in the third minute.

Although the Warriors dominated possession in earlier stages,  Sailors remained a threat on the break.

After large spells of dominance, the champions eventually broke the deadlock in the 10th minute courtesy of Frank Wanangwe’s goal from a short corner.

With three minutes to half-time, new signing Amos Barkibir who joined the Warriors from rivals Kenya Police  squandered a glorious chance after he was set free by fellow new signing Calvins Omondi only to shoot wide.

Sailors have Timothy Obongo to thank after the defender saved a goal-bound shot from close range with keeper already beaten.

The champions continued to pile pressure and on the 42nd minute they doubled their lead through Calvin’s ‘Kanu’ Omondi who dinked  the keeper for the winner.

Former Police striker Barkibir had his goal disallowed with 13 minutes to time.

With the clock ticking, Sailors surged forward for a consolation but Butali held on for the win to start the season on a high.

Sailors coach Timothy Kamar said they’ve learnt  valuable lessons from their experienced opponents.

“Of course we were playing against the defending champions who are more experienced than us.  We did our best and we leave to fight another day, ” said Kamar.

On his part, Butali assistant coach Godfrey Wakachunga said the season’s target is to retain the title.

“This was a tight match considering our opponents were playing defensive game. But most important for us is to have a good start to the season where our aim is to keep our title,” said Wakachunga.

Sailors who are making a return to the top flight league are winless in their opening two matches after they lost 3-0 to United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) in their first match of the season.


Kenya Hockey Union Butali warriors City Park Defending champions Chase Sailors Men Premier League

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