Giant killers Western Jaguars face yet another acid test when they host former champion Kenya Police in Kakamega on Saturday in a men’s hockey Premier League match.
Also in action are Parklands and defending champion Butali Sugar, who face limping Nairobi Simba and Strathmore Gladiators today and tomorrow respectively at the City Park Stadium.
Jaguars are enjoying perhaps one of their best ever start to the season, having claimed three stunning victories that at one time saw them scale to the top of the Premier League before Wazalendo dislodged them on better goal difference.
Jaguars stunned both former champions Nairobi Simba and Parklands 2-1 and 3-2 respectively to scale to the top with nine points from a clean run in three outings.
Jaguars had launched their campaign strongly on March 30, shocking former champions Strathmore Gladiators 2-0.
Wazalendo and Jaguars tie at the top with nine points each but Wazalendo enjoy better goal difference.
Nairobi Simba (8), Kenya Police (9) and Strathmore (10) occupy the last three places in the 10-team league. Police, who suffered a 2-1 loss to Butali Sugar Warriors on April 20, will be seeking to reinvent themselves with victory against Jaguars, who are always a tough nut to crack at home.
The battle between Jaguars and Police has always been tight in the past two. Jaguars won 1-0 in 2017 with Police exerting revenge 1-0 last year. “Jaguars bring out their best game especially at home,” said Police coach Patrick Mugambi.
Police drew 1-1 with Nairobi Simba before losing to Butali Sugar 2-1 in their second outing.
Wazalendo, Western Jaguars and Butali remain the only unbeaten teams this season with Wazalendo yet to concede a goal in their three outings.
Strathmore, who are placed at the bottom, having lost three matches and drawn once, will be looking for a breakthrough in Butali.
“We are not taking chances and we won’t allow them to end their winless run with us,” said Butali Sugar Warriors coach Dennis Owoka.
Butali beat Strathmore in both legs 3-0 and 5-0 on their way to league victory last season.
At the same time, Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) intends to introduce a Masters League for men in August, in the second half of the 2019 season.
Deputy match and fixture secretary Moses Majiwa disclosed that the league will be open to players who are 40 years old and above.
Saturday: Men’s Premier League: Western Jaguars v Kenya Police (3pm, Kakamega), Nairobi Sikh Union v Parklands (6pm, City Park); Men’s Super League: Kimathi University v Mvita (2pm, City Park), KU v Bungoma Farmers (4pm, City Park); Men’s National League: UoE v UoN (3pm, Eldoret)
Sunday: Men’s Premier League: Strathmore v Butali (5pm, City Park); Men’s Super League: Mvita v Bungoma Farmers (9am, City Park), 100 Bay Club v UoN (10am, Kisumu), Wazalendo Masters v KCAU (11am, City Park), KU v Nakuru (1pm) City Park; Women’s Premier League: JKUAT v KU (3pm) City Park