Amos Barkibir rifled in a double as champions Kenya Police battled to down Greensharks 3-2 on Sunday at City Park and close in on leaders Butali Sugar Warriors at the top of men’s hockey Premier League.
In the women’s Premier League, Audrey Omaido netted a hat-trick to spur champions Telkom to a sublime 7-0 victory against sloppy Sliders at the same venue.
It was sweet revenge for Fredrick Masibo’s Police, having suffered a painful 4-3 defeat to Greensharks in the first leg.
The victory saw Police consolidate their second place in the 12-team standings, bring their tally to 39 points from 13 wins and one loss.
Police now face Strathmore University next weekend, an outing that will bring them at par with Butali, who top with 42 points from 14 wins and a loss.
Barkibir scored in the 10th and 31 minutes with Samuel Wokila’s smashing strike in the 58th giving them the victory. David Kiberenge and Victor Osiche scored in the 27th and 59th minute but failed to rescue Greensharks this time round.
Earlier on, Omaido struck for Telkom in ninth, 13th and 47th minutes to move the champions’ points to 30 points from a clean run in 10 matches. Others scorers were Lilian Aura (11th), Jackline Mwangi (22nd), Caroline Guchu (23rd) and Maureen Okumu (38th).
“We were cautious in our approach so as to avoid cards after having suffered three green cards and two yellow cards in the first leg defeat,” said Masibo.
“We were laid back in the first quarter but gradually opened up. That was our plan.”
Greensharks deputy coach Thomas Mucheni said his players were not courageous this time round. “Police wanted the ball more than us,” he said.
Barkibir connected from the midfield to put Police ahead in the 10th minute to lead 1-0 after the first quarter as Greensharks keeper Martin Muturi made some daring saves from a penalty corner to keep his team in the match.
Both Police and Greensharks wasted their penalty corners in the second quarter. Police’s Vincent Odindo’s connection from the right went begging.
Greensharks’ Osiche and Isaac Kamau couldn’t get the right tone with the ball giving Martin Agesa easy time in the Police post.
But Greensharks got a lifeline when Kiberenge smashed home from a goalmouth melee to level 1-1 as Police defenders watched haplessly.
Immediately on resumption, Willis Okeyo played on Barkibir from the right flank to complete his brace but Police went on to squander two consecutive penalty corners as the third quarter ended 2-1.
Chris Wokila and Osiche were culprits again as Agesa denied them the opportunity before Greensharks were reduced to 10 men after Eugene Onyango was carded. Calvins Kanu hit the post from the resulting penalty corner as Muturi stopped Titus Kimutai’s strike.
Three minutes to the final whistle, Samuel Wokila waded to the right, displacing Greensharks defence to smash in Police’s third goal. Greensharks went on counter-attack as Chris Wokila was fouled by Robert Masibo before Osiche stepped up to score from the spot.