Second half tries from Lawrence Buyachi and debutant Tony Onyango were not enough to maintain Kenya’s dominance of the Elgon Cup, their 12-0 home win against Uganda on Saturday was not enough, as their 17-19 aggregate score handed the Rugby Cranes their second ever Elgon Cup title, their first since 2006.
The rains that have pounded Nairobi and its environs this past week played a big role in determinig the outcome of this match, the opening exchanges dominated by Kenya who were let down when center Dennis Muhanji was judged to have dropped the ball as he reached for the try line.
Uganda would settle into the match, drawing a penalty from a Kenyan infringement but Anthony Kinene’s goal attempt was wide. They would soon lose Jonathan Onen to the sin bin but Kenya failed to capitalize on the numerical advantage during Onen’s spell out. Kinene and Kenya fly half Eden Agero would each miss a penalty as the game, made all the more difficult by the slippery RFUEA turf snaked its way to half time with the teams deadlocked 0-0.
Second half action saw substitute Buyachi give his Ugandan opponents a difficult time, breaching the gainline every time he went forward. He would inevitably ground the ball, going over for an unconverted try following incessant Kenyan pressure. Agero missed this conversion as Kenya led 5-0 but trailed 10-19 on aggregate.
With Kenya seeing more of the ball as a result of their forwards bossing the rucks and mauls, scrum half Peter Mutai availed the ball to Agero who released his backs, running the ball and playing in debutant Tony Onyango who scored a try near the posts, Agero converting for a 12-0 lead, 17-19 on aggregate.
The skies at the RFUEA grounds opened up, the driving rain impeding Kenya’s attacking impetus as Uganda doggedly held on. Another Ugandan infringement saw Uganda concede a penalty. Opting for points with the view of putting Kenya ahead on aggregate, Agero’s kick sailed wide, giving the Rugby Cranes breathing space as the match ended 12-0 for Kenya but 17-19 on aggregate to Uganda.
Earlier, the Kenya Women had paid tribute to their captain Aberdeen Shikoyi by rallying from a 6-15 first leg deficit to beat Uganda 15-3 and retain the Elgon Cup on a 21-18 aggregate.
Phila Olando opened the scoring for the home team, touching down seven minutes into the game with Janet Awino converting for a 7-0 lead before Christine Kizito reduced the deficit for Uganda, kicking a penalty on thirty five minutes.
Kenya would go into the breather leading 7-3.
A second half Awino penalty and a Linda Nambwa try saw Kenya run off with the 15-3 result