Former men’s champions Butali Sugar Warriors missed the chance to close the gap on league leaders Kenya Police after the weekend round of Kenya Hockey Union league matches.
Butali were held to a surprising 1-1 draw by an improving Parklands side in the weekend’s final match to move to second place with 30 points.
With the first leg of the league set to come to a close this coming weekend, Butali missed the chance to move near the league leaders after another disappointing outing.
Parklands took a shock lead in the seventh minute through talismanic striker Allan Odongo’s field goal, before the visitors levelled through Maxwell Fuachaka in the 18th minute of play.
Butali were frustrated by Parklands’ resolute defending as they went in search of more goals to win the match. It however proved futile as Parklands held on.
Butali skipper Kennenth Nyongesa expressed his disappointment at the result but vowed to fight till the end of the season.
“This was not the response we wanted after losing to Police and it is a game we should have won having created so many chances,” Nyongesa told Nation Sport on Monday.
It was Butali’s third draw of the season and they are ahead of third-placed Greensharks on goal difference.
The Kisumu-based club lost 2-1 to Police prior to Sunday’s draw against Parklands.
“We have one match until the end of the first leg and we must ensure we end on a high before the league breaks,” he added. Police, who were not in action this weekend, lead the table with 37 points ahead of this coming weekend’s final first leg matches.
Wazalendo are in fourth place with 25 points, while 2012 winners Sikh Union Nairobi round off the top five places with 22 points. At the wrong end of the table, debutantes TUK lie bottom with four points, seven behind 14th placed Kenyatta University Titans.
In the women’s Premier League, champions Telkom ensured they will end the first leg on top after another impressive result. The 19-time champions thrashed KU Titans 9-0 to end their first leg campaign with a 100 per cent record.
They have amassed 30 points, scoring 70 goals and are yet to concede. Spartans are second five points behind after their 6-0 win over UON. Last season’s runners up Strathmore Scorpions (23 points) occupy third place with Amira Sailors and JKUAT following in the next positions respectively.