Kirigini Boys and Black Cats from Embu county will be dining at the top table with the big boys from Central Kenya after both teams, alongside Embu Queens and Tharaka Youth Starlets, collected vital points that saw them qualify for the provincial finals slated for July.
Kirigini and Black Cats booked their slots in the provincial finals after finishing first and second respectively in an action-packed weekend of matches played at the famous Moi Stadium, in Embu County.
Both teams went into their matches needing maximum points to guarantee their progress. Black Cats were the first to take to the field against an Embu Youth team who were top of the standings heading into the weekend matches, albeit only on goal difference.
Embu were the quickest off the blocks but were caught napping against the run of play when David Njau collected a perfect through ball from Jeff Njau before putting the Cats ahead with a consummate finish that gave Embu custodian Emmanuel Mugendi no chance.
The goal livened up the game as Embu pushed for the equalizer, a scenario that left them exposed at the back. Hillah Mohammed netted for the Cats’ second just before the interval and Kevin Mwaura burst from midfield was completed with a belter from outside the penalty area as Black Cats completed a 3-0 rout.
A goal each from Max Muremi and Kevin Mwaura were enough for the Cats to secure their second match against Tharaka Youth by a 2-0 margin, a result that saw them book their provincial slot.
Kirigini were dominant against Nyangwa, netting three quick-fire goals to qualify top of the group. Nyangwa lost their second match 2-1 against already eliminated Siakago, to all but kill their hopes of advancing beyond the group stages.
In the girls’ matches, Embu Queens who already secured their spot nicked a 1-0 win over CI Chuka, Stella Wanjiku scoring the winner. Phiona Makena scored a hat-trick for Tharaka Starlets in their 3-1 win of Muminji Starlets, a result that saw them enter the provincials as runners-up.
Meanwhile in Likoni where South Coast matches were played, Mombasa Heroes edged out Mombasa Stars 2-1 but both teams had already advanced to the provincial finals. Msambweni had an identical 2-1 win in their two matches in hand against Taita Stars and Ukunda Boys to finish third while Kaloleni Boys beat Taita 1-0 in a dead rubber match.
Kwale Queens ensured they finished unbeaten in the girls’ matches with a 3-1 beating of Mombasa Ladies. Both teams will represent South Coast in the Coast provincial finals also slated for July.
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