The lesson that it is not over until it is over was a bitter one for former Kenya Cup champions Kabras Sugar after a dramatic clash that ended their unbeaten run this season to lose the final to KCB on Saturday.
Defending champions KCB rose to the occasion defying three sin bins that translated to a 30-minute period of play without their fifth player, something KCB head coach Curtis Olago termed as a spirit that can only be found in champions.
“As I told you earlier, KCB has the real spirit of champions. It never matters how we perform in the rounds, what matters is the play-offs and in a final it takes more mental strength than sheer muscles to do what we have achieved today. 4peat champions is what we are.
They had their half and we had ours and we headed to sudden death prepared for such a situation and I believed my boys were not under pressure to deliver at that level,” Kolago told People Sport after the game at Nandi Bears Club in Nandi County.
Coach Kolago’s comments were echoed by assistant coach Dennis Mwanja. “I believed we were clinically better despite all the challenges of injuries and sin bins we knew we could rake in more points in the other half and upset them when it mattered most.
We managed to tie at fulltime and won it by a penalty in the sudden death which is a perfect tale of a champion.”
KCB captain Darwin Mukidza suffered the third sin bin after Brian Njoroge and Andrew Amonde respectively but returned with his head still high to convert their last minute try.
How the Bankers cancelled a 25-8 margin in the last quarter despite earning two yellow cards in that period will leave the hosts blaming themselves.
With two minutes to play, Kabras needed to maintain their possession but got carried away and attacked gaps that turned to be traps where KCB’s back three launched chop tackles and aggressive teamwork in the defense to turn over the ball.
KCB punished them with a converted try at death to shock the hosts when the ref called for sudden death to decide the clash that was played the whole afternoon due to stoppages.
Returning to the match KCB slotted the decisive penalty after turning over the ball to go for the three pointer for a memorable 28-25 win.
“I was confident we would defend the title and I thank my teammates for their nerves of steel,” said Mukidza.