Matthews says ‘no pressure’ in handball title defense as league culminates

Matthews says ‘no pressure’ in handball title defense as league culminates

NCPB's Oscar Makokha shoots to score past Equity's shot-stopper Teddy Sidai during the handball league clash on Sunday at Nyayo National Stadium handball Court. Photo/ Courtesy - Kenya Handball Federation.

National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) head coach Bryan Matthews says he is unfazed by their draw against rivals Equity on Sunday, acknowledging the point as important to their quest to defend their title.

Matthews remained buoyant of defending their handball title after securing the all-important point at the death-bed in a thrilling 29-29 draw against the bankers.

“A point was important to us and we remain unbeaten. The goal is now to win the remaining matches and I have no pressure because I believe we shall reign supreme,” said Matthews.

It was the first match of the season that NCPB were on the brink of losing before Winstone Chekai dodged past Equity shot-stopper Teddy Sidai to nick in an equalizer, to save the reigning champions the blushes and maintain their unbeaten record.

NCPB had a brilliant start, with attacker Timothy Kirimi who netted eight goals in the game, leading Equity’s demolition, heading to halftime with a 17-13 lead.

Second half produced a different show with Equity catching NCPB unaware in turnovers, leading them to rally back to take a 29-28 lead in the nail-biting clash.

However, the bankers’ defense was caught off with 20 seconds to play, after NCPB equalized, losing a chance to bag the maximum points and close the gap on leaders Ulinzi.

A relieved Matthews reiterated the clash as important, as they discovered the areas where they will work on before taking on Ulinzi in their final match, seen as a potential title-decider.

“We now know our mistakes, we had a few turnovers and let the opponent into the game. I’m glad that happened before our clash with Ulinzi and we are going to work on it,” vowed Matthews.

NCPB have a litmus test against fourth-placed General Service Unit (GSU) on Saturday, June 15, 2024, before facing minnows JKUAT the next day.

The title-holders currently sit second on the log on 41 points level with Equity and two behind leaders Ulinzi, but with a game to play.


NCPB Equity handball Bryan Matthews

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