uThe much anticipated Runyenjes District League kicked off to much fanfare on Sunday, with teams showing hunger for competition with some free-scoring displays. It would have been a festival for over 2.5 goals and goal-goal punters had there been a betting avenue.
All matches played over the weekend saw at least four goals scored, with all but one teams seeing the back of the net.
Gikuuri and Ena flagged off the action with a rescheduled match on Saturday. The match was initially slotted for Sunday but was brought forward because Ena had a fundraiser on Sunday. Gikuuri took advantage of the home tie to go to the top of the table with a 3-1 win. For the wounds suffered on Saturday, Ena got a relief with a successful fundraiser on Sunday that raised money in the area of sixty thousand shillings.
With the tempo set, the action took a full dive on Sunday. Much of the gaming was taking place along Kathageri Kanyuambora road where Kisimani, Stunners and Shaolin Soccer were all kicking off their season at home.
Kisimani were welcoming Nthagaiya to their Kaathari grounds. The match was a highly hyped affair especially on WhatsApp group KYENOFA, thanks to veteran midfielder and self-proclaimed youth defender Murangiri Mujeska. The hype did not disappoint as they home side sent the visiting goalkeeper to collect the ball at the back of his net seven times in a span of 90 minutes. Old gun Boy Gikombe showed no signs of rust as he claimed the man-of-the-match award with a beautiful hat-trick.
Further ahead, Stunners- formerly Kivuria- showed that silence is not cowardice as they demolished Kavangua five times without reply in front of a deservedly elated home crowd.
Shaolin Soccer, the team causing early ripples simply because of their name, had an early assignment to prove themselves against a highly rated Runyenjes united. They had already exposed themselves with a conspicuous name as they went up against a team that finished second in the constituency Karemba na Mpira tournament in April. They also were under pressure to perform given they had introduced an unpopular entrance fee.
All else, however, proved to be just details as the home side got off to a bright start, going two ahead inside the first quarter hour. By the end of the 90 minutes, all their pre-match antics were justified by a comfortable 5-1 win.
Across the road at Kathunguri, the home boys played to a 3-1 win over visiting kanja to earn themselves a precious three points at the season start.
There were a lot of positives to take as the region returns to competitive action after a long absence. First up is the punctuality of both home and visiting teams. All teams were at their match day venue in time.
General officiating was lauded by most teams, although officials were urged to improve on their arrival time at Ciamanda grounds aka ‘The Shaolin Temple.’ Ena called for ‘delocalisation’ of referees to ensure the officials are not biased by manning games that involve teams from their home area.
Across the divide, team managers and coaches were happy to see the league kick off. They are now keen on filling voids that were identified in the first game.
Some managers also talked of ways to find funds for the entire league. Ena’s fundraiser idea and Shaolin’s gate charging were hailed as good money-raising ideas.
The league enters its second round on Sunday 26th August 2018. Stunners will be welcoming Iriari, the only team that has not played a game yet. Shaolin welcome Gikuuri, Kathunguri will be at home against Kavangua, Nthagaiya play Runyenjes at Nthagaiya while Ena play their first home game against kanja.
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