Whether in the league or the pre-season tournament, Super Cup, the two sides have given the best that Kenya has to offer but Sharks are yet to crack the code for a win in the league
The highly-anticipated Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) women's league clash between holders Nairobi Water Queens and new-found nemesis Ulinzi Sharks played on Saturday 11 November lived up to its billing.
Whether in the league or the pre-season tournament, Super Cup, the two sides have given the best that Kenya has to offer but Sharks are yet to crack the code for a win in the league and Saturday's result was no different as they fell, painfully, by a single goal in a 28-27 outcome.
With edge-of-the-seat action at the Nyayo handball court, the end-to-end action saw the Jack Ochieng-coached Water lead the scores 15-14 at halftime.
"We lost to Sharks in the Super Cup at the beginning of the season and we knew this would be a tough match. It was important for us to maintain the unbeaten run in the league and we came ready to overturn that result.
It was a see-saw match and I'm happy in the end my players kept to the game plan to win and stay at the top as we look to retain the title," coach Thodosia Sangoro told Michezo Afrika.
The lanky Cecelia Katheu did some damage to Sharks' quest, scoring 9 in the match to emerge top scorer in the match and for her side, Water as the military side's charge was led by Caren Lutengeya who scored 8 as Sarah Wasike added 7 to the tally.
Despite converting all three of their 7-meter opportunities against Water's one, the military side fell short as they scored 13 in the second half as the opponent dropped a similar number of goals for the one-goal difference at halftime to remain at the conclusion of the match.
"We had the upper hand but a few lapses saw us lose the match by a solitary goal. We will have to review the match and identify the areas that cost us this victory as we prepare for the return match which we intent to win. This are the first points we have dropped so we are still on course to fight for the title," coach Nixon Oyaro offered.
Meanwhile, Rangers Women continued their hunt for a top-three finish as they saw off National Youth Service (NYS) 31-21 in their first of two Saturday matches.
The Musa Ndombi-led side had a slow start, tied on nine goals in the first half but exploded in the second part of the match, exploiting all avenues to convert their chances for the 10-goal win.
Rahab Nanjala was Rangers' main woman as she led the show with 13 goals, Belinda Mulongo adding 8 to the final tally. Bridgit Cheptoo scored 7 for NYS in the loss.
The Kimilili-based side won their second match of the weekend 41-28 to set the stage for a 100% performance when they play NCPB and Mountain Queens on Sunday.
The millers, National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) survived a Kenyatta University (K.U) scare, winning 25-2, Sarah Mabonga and Joane Akinyi leading the onslaught with seven goals each.