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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Messi Flops, Misses out on 2013 Ballon d’Or Award

Barcelona’s failure to qualify for the Champions League final, thanks to a 3-2 aggregate loss against Chelsea has cracked open the door for a new Ballon d’Or king to be crowned come 2013.

The Catalan giants could only manage a 2-2 draw against the London side who had beaten them by Didier Drogba’s solitary goal at Stamford Bridge in the first leg match-up the previous week.

It has been a week to forget for the Blaugrana by any standards. After losing to Chelsea in the first leg encounter, they lost 2-1 at home to their ultimate nemesis Real Madrid in the last El Classico encounter you will see this season. The loss ended their lean hopes of winning their fourth successive Liga BBVA title as Real Madrid are 7 points to the good with only 12 to wrestle for.

Barca’s failure to get a positive result from any of their last three games has been defined by the inability of their star player Lionel Messi to get on the scoresheet. It’s not easy to shut out the mercurial Argentine in 90 minutes of football. Doing so for over 270 minutes is unthinkable. But that’s exactly what has happened.  

So much a hero and the Roy of Rovers for the Catalan club, Messi was the villain on Thursday night riffling a penalty against the crossbar, the eighth time he’s missed from 12 yards for Pep Guardiola’s side in 34 spot kicks.

His latest miss, however, proved much costly. Costly to the club, and costly to him as well. The club missed a chance to reach the finals and perhaps become the first ever team in Champions League era  to defend title. On a personal note, Messi will surely not be crowned the FIFA Ballon d’Or player of the year.

This is in spite of having a record-breaking season for Barcelona, one that saw him become Europe's all-time topscorer in a single season, and one that saw him eclipse Cesar Rodriguez as the Barcelona’s all-time record goalscorer. That was just but a highlight of many highs the No. 10 has achieved this season, including becoming the first player in Champions League history to score a quintuple of goals in a single Champions League match in the 7-1 rout over Bayer Leverkusen.

Add to the fact that he became only the second player after Filippo Inzaghi to score three hat-tricks in the Champions League and the first to score two hat-tricks in one season in the competition and you could clearly see why he was on the driving seat for world football’s most prestigious individual award, the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

But how quick things do change. In just three games but arguably the biggest in Barca’s season, Messi flopped and that’s not a word you would regularly use to describe the Argentine. Of course he hit the post against Chelsea twice but that’s a statistic that will be overlooked when the coaches and captains of international teams as well as journalists from around the world will be voting for the winner.

Messi will surely make the top-three cut for the award after his imperious season with the 21-time La Liga Champions. But winning it for the fourth season in a row after failing in the last hurdle both at home and abroad would be an injustice that would measure a level higher than when Wesley Sneijder was overlooked for the 2010 award.

The man who could walk away with it is the one who he gets mentioned with in the same breath when you think of the best player in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward leads the Pichichi race as well as the European football scoring chat and should Madrid go ahead and win the La Liga, as many expect them to, and at least reach the Champions League final, CR7 will be a worthy winner.

Arsenal's Robin Van Persie will also probably get the nod but for the lack of even a 'mickey-mouse' domestic cup to show for his form this season, he won't be a favourite while Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez will also be a good bet should he steer his team to the May 19 Allianz Arena finals, and score.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Curtains Come Down on KSSSA Games as Laiser Hill, Kapkolei and St. Antony Retain Titles

The 2012 edition of the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Term 1 games came to a close on Saturday with Laiser Hill, Kapkolei and St. Antony successfully defending their titles in boys’ basketball, girls’ and boys’ hockey respectively.

Rift Valley’s Laiser Hill successfully retained their trophy after dismissing Nairobi Champions Upper Hill 65-35 in a pulsating match played at Maseno School’s main basketball court.

Beaming with confidence after winning all their group matches before thrashing Kamusinga 80-51 in the semis, the now five time champions started on a strong note hitting Upper Hill by 19 baskets to 04 in the first quarter.

They edged out the second quarter 12-04 before nudging up the tempo in the third quarter to decisively win 18-04. Their 17-16 loss to Upper Hill in the fourth quarter did them no harm as they had done enough to win their fourth title in five years. Laiser’s Omari Mulumba who contributed 17 points for his team in the final match was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Hosts Maseno finished third after putting Friends School Kamusinga to the sword with a 89-55 win. Laiser, Upper Hill and Maseno will represent Kenya in the East Africa Championships slated for Burundi in August.

In the girls’ category, Shimba Hills are the new champions after beating Buru Buru girls by 98 baskets to 45. Evelyn Atieno scored a match high 26 points which included an impressive six 3-pointers to give the Coast-based side the title. Buru Buru lost the first quarter 02-27 and never recovered thanks to the dribbling prowess of Shimba’s No. 5 Primerose Achieng’ and Atieno’s flawless shooting.

Nairobi’s Alliance Girls survived a late scare from Rift Valley’s Kapkolei to snatch the third place with a 47-43 win.

Defending girl’s and boys’ hockey champions Kapkolei Girls and St. Antony both successfully defended their titles. Two goals in the first half from Lillian Cherop and Purity Tot were enough to give Kapkolei a 2-1 win over East Africa champions Kerugoya Girls in what was a repeat of last year’s final. Rhoda Nyambura scored the consolation goal for Kerugoya who once again proved second best to their Rift Valley counterparts.

Kapkolei broke into song and dance singing their Nyigonen (unshakable) song which was composed by Lilian Rotich. In the third-place playoff, Asumbi Girls edged out fellow Nyanza queens Sinyolo 3-1 in post match penalties after the teams could only manage a barren draw in normal time.

The boys’ title went to St. Antony who beat their Western province rivals Friends School Kamusinga 2-1 in extra time in what was also a repeat of last year’s final. Lawrence Olaka opened the scoring in the first half for St. Antony but Calvin Omondi restored parity as the game went into extra time where Amos Barikibir scored the golden goal in extra time to give the Kitale-based side the title.

Lenana won 1-0 against Mombasa’s Shimo La Tewa to earn them a ticket to the East Africa School Games.

Cross Country

Gideon Keter is the new Brookside KSSSA junior men’s cross country champion after beating a strong field which included East Africa champion Cyrus Keter. Gideon, who represented Kenya in the world junior athletics championships in Canada last year, clocked 23:31:04 to win the title ahead of St. Patrick Iten’s Moses Mukono who finished second at 23:37:03.

East Africa champion Cyrus Ruto completed the clean podium sweep for Rift Valley with a time of 23:46:09. Rift Valley won the overall title with 10 points, followed by Nyanza with 34 and Eastern with 49.

In the girls’ category, Sheila Chepng’etich Nairobi’s Riruta Central school won the 6Km junior girls’ race in 20:02:07. Caroline Jepkoech emerged second in 20:09:19 followed by Lillian Jepkorir in 20:20:04. Rift Valley province won the ladies title with 14 points followed by Eastern with 48 points while Central came in third with 54 points.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

All Set for KSSSA Finals as Kakamega High Win Rugby Competition

The Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) term one games enters the final day this Saturday where champions will be crowned in both boys’ and girls’ hockey and basketball disciplines.

The fourth day of the championships had no major upsets but hosts and Nyanza’s biggest hopes Maseno School were bundled out of both boys’ basketball and rugby at the semifinal stages.

Maseno lost 10-21 to Kakamega High in the main cup semi-finals and the Western giants went on to lift the trophy for the second time in three years with a 31-8 thrashing of the brave and valiant St. Peters Mumias.

Kisii county’s Sameta won the shield final after overwhelming Malindi 33-14 while Mangu edged out Alliance 5-0 to win the Bowl. The plate trophy went to Rift Valley  with Nakuru beating Upper Hill 7-5 in the final.

In basketball, Maseno failed to capitulate on the rapturous support of the home crowd as they went down 36-49 to Nairobi’s Upper Hill. Maseno could not find the mojo that saw them win the 2010 edition and reach last year’s final. Joseph Mboya top-scored for Upper Hill with 14 points which included two 3-pointers while James Aduke’s match-high 15 points for Maseno could not steer them to the finals.

Defending champions Laiser Hill proved too tense for Friends School Kamusinga beating the Westerners 80-51 to book their place in the finals which they are tipped to win.

In hockey, it will be East Africa champions versus national champions after both Kerugoya Girls and Kapkolei had an identical 2-1 win over Nyanza’s Sinyolo Girls and Asumbi Girls. Alphine Muriel and Yvonne Karanja were both on the scoresheet for Kerugoya with Colly Okumu scoring the consolation goal for Sinyolo. Lesley Chebet and Karen Jelagat scored for Kapkolei either side of Susan Okech’s 58th minute strike to book the national champions a date with Kerugoya girls which will be a repeat of last year’s finals.

Boys’ reigning champions St. Antony ended Lenana’s run in the competition with a 2-1 win and they will face Friends School Kamusinga in a repeat of last year’s final. Kamusinga advanced to the final thanks to a lone goal from Moses Ademba in the half-hour mark that knocked out Shimo La Tewa.

Meanwhile in swimming, Edward Ilako was head and shoulder ahead of his competitors as he stormed to win the senior boys’ 50m short course butterfly event at Agha Khan Primary School in Kisumu. Ilako stopped the clock at his season best 27:45 seconds to win Nairobi province the gold. Zubeir Mohammed from Coast came second at 30:35 seconds with his compatriot Abdula Rizeg finishing third.

National U-15 champion Anita Field dominated the field in both the 50, 100 and 200m events smashing national records on the way. She won the 50m backstroke event stopping the clock at 32:24 seconds which was a massive 2.56 seconds faster than the previous record of 34.80. She continued with her impressive form smashing the initial 100m breaststroke record of 1:18:52 held by Rashita Shah by no less than 5seconds.

Nyanza’s Josiah Diana successfully defended her title in the girls’ 50m butterfly senior category winning with a time of 34:47. Natasha Oduor finished second for Nairobi Province while Georgina Ochanda was content with the bronze for Central province.

In other results, Nawab Rhea won the girls’ 200m short course individual medley to grab gold with Antrbobus Kelly finishing second and Tracy Josiah third. Nairobi’s Ilic Pavle won the boys’ event followed by Haria Jinal and Abeid Ali from Coast.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Defending Champions Maseno Advance in Rugby as Girls’ Basketball Champions Tigoi Eliminated

Defending national rugby champions Maseno School started their quest to defend the title on an emphatic note winning all their group matches to qualify for the quarterfinals slated for Friday.

The hosts won their first match 19-7 against a determined St. Peter’s Mumias side. Warren Nyanjom scored two tries and a conversion while Edwin Osuma and Kabole Kelvin both added a try and a conversion respectively to give Maseno the win. They then blanked Mangu High 19-0 before crashing Allliance 35-0.

Maseno’s win booked them a date with Nairobi representatives Nairobi School who won 34-0 against Malindi, 17-7 against Meru before going down 12-7 to Nakuru.

Other quarterfinal matches will see St. Peter Mumias, who finished second to Maseno, lock horns with Nakuru while Upperhill will face a herculean task against Western giants Kakamega. The last of the four quarterfinal games will see two sides from Nyanza pitted against each other. Homabay who caused a major upset with their 19-17 win over Upperhill will be looking to upstage St. Mary’s Yala who finished second behind Kakamega in Pool D.

Meanwhile defending girls’ basketball champions Tigoi fell victim of the stiff competition when they were bundled out without winning a match. Having lost 22-102 against Shimba Hills and 60-63 against Barasani Secondary, the defending national and East Africa champions went down 42-49 against Kapkolei who advanced to the semis where they will face Pool B winners Buruburu Girls. The other semifinal encounter will see Shimba Hills from Coast square it off with 1984 champions Alliance Girls.

In the boys’ basketball competition, defending champions Laiser Hill continued their impressive form humiliating Shimba 92-22 to book their slot in the semis where they will meet Western’s Friends School Kamusinga. Maseno also booked a semifinal encounter with Nairobi’s Upperhill after beating Garissa 124-14 in their final match. Upperhill sent Alliance crashing out of the competition with a 72-51 win.

There was however no upset in the girls’ hockey with both defending national champions Kapkolei and East Africa champions Kerugoya girls advancing to the semis. Kerugoya will face Nyanza’s Sinyolo Girls while Kapkolei will also face another Nyanza representative in the shape of Asumbi Girls. St. Antony will square it off with Lenana Kamusinga with Shimo La Tewa in the boys’ semis with all the matches slated for Friday April 20.

The Brookside-sponsored games continue on Friday with swimming, hockey, decathlon, heptathlon, basketball, rugby and hockey lined up.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Defending Champions Laiser Hill Qualify for Semis as Maseno Bounce Back

Defending Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) national basketball champions Laiser Hill cruised into the semifinals of the Brookside-sponsored competition after winning their second match in a row.

The four-time champions floored Garissa 116-20 to book their slot in the semis having beaten rivals Maseno High School 61-42 in the opening match on Tuesday.

Hosts Maseno, having lost to Laiser Hill in a match that reminded many of last year’s final, revived their chances of advancing in the competition with a scintillating and entertaining 72-40 win over Coast representatives Shimba Hills, while Alliance Boys lost to Western giants 28-48 baskets.

Nairobi’s representatives Upperhill continued with their impressive start, beating Tala Boys from Eastern 93-42.

In the girls’ category, Buruburu girls edged out Alliance Girls 39-20 to qualify for the semis while St. Alberts bounced back from their 29-33 loss to Alliance to hand North Eastern a 90-2 drubbing. Shimba Hills overpowered Kapkolei 76-32, cementing their position as the favorites having disciplined defending Champions Tigoi 102-22 on Tuesday. Five-time champions Tigoi lost their second straight match when they went down 60-63 against Barasani from Eastern.

Meanwhile, defending national champions in men’s hockey St. Antony qualified for the semifinals after giving 2010 winners Mangu High a 5-1 humbling. Maseno continued their poor form on home turf losing 1-0 to Coast’s Shimo La Tewa, while Orero Boys from Nyanza and Kanguru from Central were involved in a 6-goal thriller that ended 3-3. Lenana and Kamusinga also breached each other’s goal twice as they drew 2-2.

Sinyolo Girls became the first girls’ team to reach the hockey semis after thrashing St. Joseph 5-1 while defending national champions Kapkolei could only share a barren draw with newcomers Moi Girls. East Africa champions Kerugoya found the going tough against St. John Kaloleni from Mombasa as they lost 2-1 while Asumbi bounced back from their 2-1 defeat against Kerugoya with a 2-0 win over Butere Girls.

The games continue on Thursday when all the semifinal places in both hockey and basketball will be known. Other disciplines on Thursday include swimming, track events like decathlon and heptathlon as well as the much anticipated rugby matches.

Defending champions Maseno will open the rugby games with an encounter against St. Peters Mumias.

Rugby Fixtures

Pool A                                                                                   Pool B
Maseno                                                                               Nakuru
Mangu                                                                                  Nairobi School
St. Peters Mumias                                                           Meru
Alliance High                                                                      Malindi

Pool C                                                                                   Pool D
Upperhill                                                                             Kakamega
Kangaru                                                                               St. Mary’s Yala
Homabay Boys                                                                  Sameta
Shimo La Tewa                                                                  St. Joseph’s Kitale

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brookside's Kshs. 7 Million Boost to KSSSA School Games

Brookside Dairy has announced sponsorship for this year’s Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Term One games which is expected to kick off Monday April 16th

The Term One school games main sponsors over the last seven years announced a Kshs. 7million boost to the games which will be held in Maseno School.

Speaking during the announcement, Brookside Dairy Marketing Manager Peter Wasonga said the sponsorship will go a long way in not only ensuring the success of the games but also show their commitment in developing youth talent in the country. “Over the years, we have been increasing the stakes involved in the championships which has upped the competition,” he observed. 

“We have been striving to ensure the games grow in stature and this year is no exception,” he noted. “This is the final year of our four-year sponsorship and we are looking into renewing it next year where we will introduce new rewards for the students, the teachers and the coaches” he said.

Wasonga also revealed that Brookside dairy will extend scholarships for excelling students beyond basketball and include rugby and hockey. 

This year’s sponsorship is Kshs. 0.5 million higher than the Kshs. 6.5 million that the company extended to the games last year which were held in Kakamega. Wasonga also revealed that all the teams participating in the competition will be provided with refreshments throughout the weeklong event that ends on April 22nd.

“To complement the Kshs. 7 million sponsorship, we have also extended an additional amount of Kshs. 2 million that has gone towards renovations and repairs at the Maseno School,” said Wasonga. “Besides constructing an new basketball court in Maseno, we are also providing additional equipment for other sporting disciplines such as hockey and rugby,” he noted.

Besides perennial participants like Maseno School, Shimba Hills, Buru Buru Girls and Western giants Tigoi, this year’s games have attracted new entrants among them Moi Nairobi Girls and Alliance Boys.

The two teams will both be making a comeback after a 5-year absence. The teams will represent Nairobi Province in girls’ hockey and Central Province in boys’ basketball respectively.

“We are satisfied with the progress we have made so far and we know this year’s games will be a huge success and cement our position as the company that supports youth development in sports,” Wasonga said.

Mr. Johnstone Ikiugu, the Deputy Director Assurance and Standards in the Ministry of Education said the money will be put into proper use and thanked Brookside Diary for investing in the youth.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Maseno High School Gets a Facelift ahead of School Games Finals

The hosts of this year’s Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) finals, Maseno High School, will benefit from a Kshs. 2 million boost which will be used to construct a new basketball court and improve sporting facilities in the school courtesy of the games' sponsors Brookside.

The new sporting facility will be complete with a new basketball board, hydraulic rims and two basketball reserve benches. The tournament’s sponsors will also provide other additional equipments for other sporting discipline e.g. Hockey and Rugby.

Since the Sponsor took over the Title Sponsorship, there have been different initiatives targeting both students and hosting schools that has led to the event being competitive. Schools want to participate so that they get the high quality imported School Kit thus saving expenses as they do not need to buy the kit. Hosting Schools also get their sporting facilities upgraded.

This year’s games have attracted new entrants among them Moi Nairobi Girls and Alliance Boys who will both be making a comeback after a 5-year hiatus, taking the competition a notch higher. The teams, will represent Nairobi Province in girls’ hockey and Central Province in boys’ basketball respectively, they will be provided with a set of Brookside branded training basketball kit as they prepare for finals in Maseno.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Buru Buru Girls Recieve Basketball Training Kits

Brookside Dairy, the sponsors of Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Term One Games today presented Buruburu Girls with basketball training kits that will help the players prepare for the games finals slated for Maseno School on April 16th.

The girls’ school which will represent Nairobi Province in the Term One school games were the first to receive the full kitting which includes a short and jersey. Other teams gracing the competition will also receive the extra training kits which have been produced at a cost of nearly Kshs. 100,000 each.

“From here, we will go to Alliance Boys in the coming week where we will also provide them with a set of Brookside branded kits for their training,” said Brookside Marketing Manager Peter Wasonga. “Alliance will be making their comeback after a five-year absence and we believe giving them training kits will boost their morale,” he added. 

Wasonga said the competition has attracted new entrants who are expected to shore up the competition. “Teams from Western and Coast have been quite dominant especially in basketball but we expect Buruburu Girls to up the ante this year and perhaps bring the trophy to Nairobi,” noted Wasonga.

Buruburu Girls have failed to go past the semi-finals in the last three editions but the team’s vice-captain Brenda Nawiri expressed confidence they will do well in the finals. “We believe by the time the games are kicking off, we would have trained good enough to sweep aside any team that gets into our way,” she said.

The team’s coach Julius Otieno is also quite upbeat about his team’s chances. “We have been reaching semifinals in the last three years but we want to take it a notch higher this time round. I believe we can win it and represent Kenya in the East Africa School Games,” he said.

The weeklong KSSSA ballgame finals will kick off on April 16th in Maseno School and conclude on April 22nd.

Brookside Dairy, the region’s largest dairy processor, has been sponsoring the Term One school games since 2005 and has made tremendous progress in nurturing talent at the school level.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!