Friday, April 11, 2014

Malindi High are District Champions for 7s

We'll done to all the teams in Malindi district! We had a great tournament this year with newbies Mida giving their best! Mum eye and Gede were stronger than usual, and the cross town rivalry between Barani and Malindi is alive and well!

Barani started a hard fought 5-0 win over muyeye, muyeye has made leaps and bounds of progress with Reagan and "Captain Somalia" Abdul leading the charge.

Gede started turning heads with a 7-5 win against perennial favourites Barani who are obviously well coached.

Muyeye then played a defensive masterpiece against Malindi, which malindi pulled out of the fire with a last second try almost between the posts, unfortunately missing the kicks for a 5-5 tie!

Malindi then pulled off a 10-5 win against barani, again with a last minute try to pull it off. Barani did not disapoint, scoring a try down 5-0 in the second half against a strong wind with many opportunities to score later in the half. Malindi showed committed defence and somehow managed to keep them out.

This set the stage for a massive showdown between two unbeaten teams. Gede ran the opening kickoff straight back for a try which they converted. Down 7-0 nil, malindi was shaken, but somehow managed to climb back with an unconverted try from salim eliud, and then gathered their nerves to put together some nice runs which were valiantly defended by Gede. Malindi were held up on a couple of occasions in the try zone, and were awarded a scrum on the 5 metre line just before the whistle blew. The ball somehow miraculously made it all the way down the line and malindi scored to the elation of the crowd.

Gede was bitterly disapointed, and to be honest, it looked to me like they were playing the best, most consistent rugby in the tournament. I was very pleased with malindi's victory as it showed character against strong competition. So malindi and muyeye are now through. Gede somehow mustered a 5-3 victory in the final game, and I believe it is the first time that they've advanced! Congrats to them and to everyone, I think that the bar is rising in malindi, and together with the great work being done in galana by odima, we are starting to become a serious regional hotbed for rugby.

I only wish we could attract some tours from upcountrytry teams!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Poor performance at Provincials

After all the hype, it appears that a series of mental breakdowns caused Malindi High to Choke their way out of the National Championships.  The team must have been the clear favourites to become champions after two relatively decisive victories over last year's champions and County rivals St Georges in the County Championships.

The team however performed miserably, losing all three of its round robin games against lesser competition.

5-12 Kenyata
0-7 Khamisi
0-26 Shimba

The icing on the cake was that St George's won the competition.  They were awarded a spot in the competition despite being taken out by Malindi on the basis that they were the defending champions. Good luck to them and Coach Ezra in the National tournament!  The runner's up Shimba Hills will also be attending the nationals since the Nationals this year will be held at the coast, the home region apparently receives an extra spot in the tournament.  Good luck to them as well and to coach Nils Achayo, who I understand switched from perennial favourites Shimo la Tewa to Shimba Hills because of discipline issues at the former.

Malindi High will now focus on the upcoming District 7s tournament. Surely mental preparation will be a large part of their training regimen.