Kathanjuri FC was on Sunday, December 29, 2019, crowned Runyenjes Constituency football champions. A hard-fought 1-0 win over Gikuuri saw the Kyeni South Ward side lift the Karemba trophy for the second time in three years. Effectively, they become the most decorated side in the Eric Muchangi Karemba sponsored tournament.
Sunday’s climax was the culmination of a silent but busy month in the Runyenjes footballing circles. There has not been much talk about the Karemba Tournament on social media (besides Whatsapp). But there were fireworks on different pitches across the constituency.
Huge Fan Turn-Out
The huge turn out of fans at the D.O Grounds Runyenjes Stadium was evidence of what has been going on from the grassroots this December. The crowd fencing the entire pitch was well into the thousands; if only there was a way to do the tally. It consisted of football lovers from all the 64 teams that had participated in the league from the start.
The action began in the morning hours with a semi-final match between Kathanjuri and Kisimani. Kisimani dominated large periods of the game and looked an absolute threat. However, a goal against the run of play towards the end of the first half threw them off balance. Mike ‘Hazard’ Mugambi pounced on a headed James ‘Zlatan’ headed assist. He then fired a strong shot past Kisimani’s Owen to put Murigi Boys 1-0 up at the break.
Kathanjuri appeared to gain more dominance in the second half. They appeared to have put the game to bed when ‘Hustler-Wan-Bissaka’ capitalized on Song’s defensive blunder. Another strong shot made it 2-0 and brought a sense of safety. Kisimani’s Mughobai Kanjogu drew one back for Kisimani from the spot but it eventually wasn’t enough to get them a win.
In the second semi, Gikuuri showed grit as they fought back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 against Ndumari. Gikuuri appeared suppressed in the opening minutes, and going down 1-0 was well deserved. A collision that resulted in a concussion for one of their midfielders appeared to make things worse.
However, a substitution that brought in veteran midfielder Mutemi appeared to shift Siri’s gears up a notch. The two were instrumental in mounting a comeback against an increasingly tiring Ndumari side. Siri was particularly outstanding, coming close severally before scoring directly from a corner.
Kisimani appeared to benefit from the extra rest as they completely outclassed Ndumari in the third-place playoff. The 2-0 scoreline was not even a true reflection of the game.
Eventually, it is Kathanjuri who got the ultimate glory, thanks to another Hazard goal. The teams playing on the day took home 50, 40, 30 and 20 thousand shillings cash rewards in respective positions. The rewards donated from the Karemba Care Foundation received a Sh. 10,000 top-up from Wimwaro FM Head of Radio Pamela Njoki. This was divided equally between Kathanjuri and Gikuuri.
All participating teams also received a match ball and a full set of uniforms from Runyenjes NG-CDF. The finalists will play a tournament against two select teams from South Imenti this coming weekend.