There was pressure from the onset to deliver yet another successful event on the back of a similar one held for Starehe Zone in a space of a week. The venue for this one was Ruaraka Sports Club but the greatest of worries heading into Saturday was the rain being experienced in Nairobi at present.
The schools that took part in this zone were:-
1) Roysambu Primary 2) Mariakani Primary
3) Mathare Youth 4) Githurai Primary
5) Westlands Primary 6) Ebenezzer
7) Huruma Primary 8) Karura Forest
9) Daima Primary 10) Bright Star Academy
11) Front Runners 12) Huruma Focus
It was a tournament that was dominated by the new entrants, the likes of Huruma and Daima primary schools, both institutions ensuring that they sent a team to the finals with the latter claiming the girls title from hot favourites Karura Forest and the former finishing runners-up to Roysambu primary in the boy’s category.
Daima School was the toast of a tough group B of the girl’s event that included former champions and perennial contenders Karura Forest, Bright Star Academy, Ebenezzer and Westlands primary.
The Huruma-estate based school won all its matches in the preliminary rounds to romp into the semi-finals where they were pitted against a strong Roysambu girls’ team. They managed to upstage their opponents to book a place in the final against the hard working Karura Forest side whom finished behind Daima in the group stages but found enough ammunition to dispatch Huruma primary in the other semi-final encounter.
The two in-form teams then settled for the grand finale, where they met for the second time and yet again Daima proved to be the stronger of the two as they restricted Karura Forest to 28 for the loss of 1 wicket and then overhauled that total for the loss of 3 wickets in 4.3 overs thanks largely to a quickfire 10 runs from the tournament’s top batter Teddy Frenzia. Karura Forest’s bowler Patricia Karemi tried in vain to derail the run-chase with two-quick wickets off the third over, but her efforts were not rewarded as Daima had just a few runs to get.
On the other hand Roysambu primary made certain that the newcomers did not run away all the titles on offer when they beat Huruma primary in the finals of the boys’ event.
The win did not come easily as they had to fight it out in a super-over when defending 26 runs, Huruma lost the last wicket with the scores level and then the dreaded one-over per side eliminator separated the teams as Roysambu scored 10 runs to Huruma’s 6 runs to scoop the boys’ title in a thrilling encounter.
Langata West Primary, one of the newest schools that are showing interest in the sport did also make their way to the Kasarani zonal event to witness first hand, the game that they have just introduced to their school with the help of their district sports officer Tausi Mohammed.
Aside from the action on the pitch, Friday’s mowing of the grass in preparation for the weekend’s show piece fell victim to the rains and even the practice sessions were severely affected. Despite the fact that just the outfield would have needed to stay dry for the matches, the fields were saturated and were barely holding on.
The outfields were nearly craving in; the downpours had fallen unexpectedly heavy at this period in time. There were even thoughts of a postponement as it looked increasingly a huge risk with the weather in play. But getting the schools at a later weekend for the finals after the institutions closure was an option not even under consideration.
So come Saturday, a bright morning appeared in the horizon and all was set to go, but no sooner had a couple of games been played, the dark clouds gathered again and it drizzled a bit before clearing up for the better part of the day and just came back to haunt the finish but after half an hour’s delay the girls event was completed just in good time to allow for an early evening return for the school children.