Mukidza sparkles as KCB edge Nondies for 10th Floodlit title

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 28 – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) RFC were on Saturday night crowned Impala Floodlit champions for the 10th time in their history after a thrilling 25-23 win over Nondescripts RFC.

Billed as the perfect curtain raiser for the Rugby World Cup final, the match did not disappoint as both sides went hammer and tongs against each other from the first whistle.

The bankers, seeking to defend their title for the third successive time, drew first blood in the first half courtesy of a try by Peter Kilonzo, which was gleefully converted by Darwin Mukidza.

Nondies, keen to avenge last year’s loss to their opponents in the finals of the same competition, replied with two penalty goals by Calvin Sheunda to put the scores at 7-6 in favour of the bankers.

The second half resumed with the same intensity and script as the first one as Mukidza extended KCB’s advantage with another penalty goal.

Sheunda put his name on the scoresheet again with another penalty to reduce the deficit to 10-9.

However, Mukidza once again took matters in his hands — or rather feet — when his two penalty goals in succession made it 13-9 in favour of the defending champions.

Nondies were not willing to wave the white flag just yet and with eight minutes to the end of normal time, they were rewarded for their relentlessness as Moseti Nyaena put the ball over the whitewash.

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He stepped up to convert the resultant penalty to equalise the scores and send the match into sudden death extra time.

Mukidza was putting in a man-of-the-match performance as he scored two more penalty goals in the first half of extra time to extend KCB’s lead to 22-16.

The former Simbas international turned up once again at the start of the last 10 minutes of the match with another penalty goal.

With the scores at 25-16, many pundits would have been writing Nondies’ eulogy as far as their Floodlit title hopes were concerned.

However, there was another twist to the tale as Charles Odhiambo’s converted try — five minutes from time — put Kenya’s oldest rugby club on the cusp of a comeback.

Despite knocking on their opponent’s 22, coach Callum Oliver’s charges were unable to re-enact the events of 2010 when they beat the bankers to lift the Floodies title.

So it ended 25-23 in favour of the bankers albeit Nondies earning plenty of admiration for not simply being also-rans, rather running their opponents close.

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