Kenya Tusker Malt blinked first against fancied South Africa Tusker Malt to win 7-5.5 as the Kenya International 10-Goal Championships commenced at Nairobi Polo Club on Friday.
South African handicap 4 speedster Chris Lund was a thorn in the flesh of the home team’s territory and always giving them torrid moments in the first and second chukka.
Starting the match at the advantage of half a fraction of a goal from their low handicap 9 as opposed to Kenya Tusker Malt handicap 10, the homeboys scored first through a double by captain Casimir Gross in the first chukka.
In the second chukka, the match belonged to the South Africans as Lund (Chris) returned a hat rick to take a 3-2 lead at the end of the second chukka in a well-officiated match by international umpire Raphael Nzomo and Jamie Murray.
He (Lund) was a star attraction in the third and fourth chukkas as he put the ball twice through the sticks with the assistance of handicap 3 William Crowe and handicap 1 Luke Barnard as teammate Adrian Lavarinhas took charge at the back.
However, Lavarinhas could not contain the duo of Kenya’s speedsters Casimir Gross and his sister Tiva (Gross) with the latter scoring four more goals in the third and fourth chukkas for Harry Griffiths to wrap it up with a final goal with some seconds to the final whistle.
South Africa Tusker Malt takes on Kenya Samurai on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm after the match pitting Kenya CMC Motors against Kenya Tusker Malt at 2.45 pm.
Earlier, Kenya CMC Motors was too good for Kenya Samurai when they defeated them 6.5-4 to make a good start in the competition.
As both teams had similar handicaps 10, it was an explosive match that could have gone either but Kenya Samurai led 2-1 with goals from Raphael Nzomo and Jamie Murray after Izzy Parsons had earlier put through the ball between the sticks.
Kenya CMC Motors made a strong return in the second chukka overwhelming their opponents by scoring three quick goals by Archie Voorspuy who hit a double, which was followed up by another one from Parsons to take a 4-2 lead.
Voorspuy increased the tally for Kenya CMC Motors in the third chukka that turned dry for Kenya Samurai.
In the final chukka, the match was beyond Kenya Samurai after Voorspuy frantic dash towards the sticks resulted in him(Voorspuy) stretching the lead to 6.5, which even after Jamie Murray reduced the tally with a double could not salvage the situation for his side (Kenya Samurai).
In the two chukka Fat Hippo Trophy, 24;7 picked a 4.5-3 win over Ultimate
Starting the match at the advantage of a half fraction of a goal, Georgina Millar scored first in the opening chukka for a 24;7 before Ultimate replied through Ed Burbidge in the same chukka.
The second chukka proved fruitful for both teams as each went on a goal-scoring spree against each other and it was 24:7 who had the last laugh,
Nikki Ngugi scored a hattrick for 24;7 while Hiromi Nzomo and Robby Koitaba relied on the losers.
In other matches of the same tournament, the Ultimate team of Hiromi Nzomo, Ed Burbidge, Robby Koitaba and Emily Stonewigg suffered a second 2.5-1 defeat in the hands of Jacaranda.
In the final match, 24;7 teams of Nikki Nhugi, Georgina Millar, Simon Muchene and Eva Kamau settled to a scoreless draw against Jacaranda.