Murundiko stun St Joseph’s to win Rift Valley handball title

Murundiko handball team with School Principal Julius Korir Kochir (in red Kenya uniform) at Kapsabet ASK ground after their team won the Rift Valley Region Term one handball title.

The defending champions of girls’ high school handball in the Rift Valley region, St Joseph’s Girls Trans-Nzoia, failed to retain their title after losing to their opponents Murundiko Nakuru by a score of 18-19 in the final match at the ASK Kapsabet stadium on Wednesday, March 17.

Under the guidance of coach Timothy Karonei, Murundiko showed resilience despite facing tough competition from the reigning champions in a fiercely contested match. Murundiko’s head teacher, Julius Korir Kochir, expressed joy and congratulated his girls, who last year lost to St Joseph’s in the final.

He said, “Last year my girls lost in overtime 24-22 after 16-16, 18-18, and 21-21, but they didn’t give up; they continued practising until we started the high school championships,” Rosebella Orwaro of St. Joseph’s Girls acknowledged the defeat, stating that one who doesn’t accept defeat isn’t a true competitor, and she vowed to regroup her team for next year.

Murundiko fans and players celebrate winning handball trophy.

St Joseph’s Girls reached the final by defeating Kipsamoit Nandi 39-24 in the semi-finals, while in the second semi-final, Murundiko beat Ngoisa 43-15 at the ASK Kapsabet stadium on Tuesday.

In the boys’ handball final, Saniak Nandi clinched the handball title after defeating Nabunga Mixed Trans-Nzoia 36-32 in overtime, following a 29-29 tie in regulation time at the second ASK Kapsabet stadium on Wednesday, thus being crowned the new champions.

Nabunga, coached by Sanya Wesley, were the defending champions after Kamito West Pokot was disqualified last year. They reached the final by defeating Kitany 38-24, while Saniak dispatched Ong’ata Barikoi Narok 36-20 on Tuesday.

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After the match, Saniak’s coach, Moses Tarus, vowed to ensure his players represent the Rift Valley region well and lift the trophy, emphasizing that they have been training since last year when they lost in the semi-finals and finished third.

Alice Tenai, the head teacher of Saniak, was delighted with the championship and assured fans and the Rift Valley region that they would not disappoint; they would ensure they bring the trophy home.

Nabunga Mixed coach, Sanya Wesley, accepted defeat despite his team’s efforts, also criticising the decisions made by the handball officials, alleging bias in their choice of referees from a certain area whom they knew would favour them. However, he encouraged his players, saying there’s always next year.

By Osborne Benn

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