By Julia Wanjeri
Early signs in the Kenya Women’s Premier League (KeWPL) indicate a goal-filled season, as a barren draw is yet to be recorded and a whopping 31 different players have scored so far. This is in spite of a few teething problems, including the lack of a league sponsor plus most teams still missing an official sponsor, factors that once again resulted in three out of the six fixtures planned for the 28-29 May weekend not being played.
One of the three matches played was the battle of the title favourites where defending champions Thika Queens grabbed the win against last season runner-up Spedag at Thika Municipal Stadium on Saturday 28 May.
Battle of the titans
The matched lived to its bidding in the first half with both sides being equally-matched. The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute courtesy of Sharon Bushenei’s strike and the hosts stormed right back into the game courtesy of Christine Omondi’s equaliser in the 22nd minute.
Both sides held their own till the 35th minute when Harambee Starlets’ Esse Akida, scorer of the first hat-trick of the season in Spedag’s 5-2 win against Mombasa Olympic on Sunday 22 May, whizzed past the host’s defence before firing a sublime shot into the net.
Ten minutes later, Akida’s teammate in the national team Mary Kinuthia responded, finding the net on the other side of the pitch to make it two apiece as the teams went for the break.
A one-side second half
The second half was a different story, as the hosts dominated play. They terrorised Spedag’s defence for minutes on end and in the 54th minute, the league’s top goalscorer Mary Kinuthia completed her brace to take her goal tally to seven goals in two games.
The visitor’s attempts to get back into the game failed miserably. The last twenty minutes in particular saw them huffing and puffing, totally out of their depth. Lucky for them, the hosts were not as clinical in front of goal thus it was 3-2 at final whistle. The scoreline flatters the dreadful second-half display by the star-studded Spedag, which boosts nine Harambee Starlets’ players.
Two wins in two
“This is our home turf. So anything less than three points in the bag, even against a side as good as Spedag, would have felt like a loss,” said Benta Achieng, Thika Queens’ player-cum-assistant coach, who led her teammates in the absence of head coach Richard Kanyi who was attending a coaching clinic in Nairobi.
“Great to see we attained what we set out do. I believe our commitment in training came in handy today. It enabled us to keep fighting, coming from behind twice to win the match,” she added before noting that though they seem to score for fun, they need to finish off more of their chances. “We need to work on our offence. We also must not get carried away seeing that it will take more than two wins in two games to successfully defend our title.”
KeWPL Week 3 Results Roundup:
Makolanders 3-4 Gaspo Youth, Florence Awino 13’, Jackline Musula 49’, Atieno Neddy 56, Vivian Ebere 60’, Naomi Njeri 86’, Winnie Mugechi 88’, Lasy Amy 90’.
Thika Queens 3-2 Spedag, Sharon Bushenei 14’, Christine Omondi 22’, Esse Akida 35’, Mary Kinuthia 45’ 54’.
Vihiga Queens 5-0 Wadadia Mumias, Phoebe Owino 22’ 53’, Enez Mango 35’ 86’, Choka Linda 90’.