Kampala. Not many players stick with their clubs once they are relegated to the lower tier of the league hierarchy.
But siblings Lawrence Ssempijja and Simon Ssesaazi stuck with Charity Trust Fund when they fell to the National Men’s Division Two 50-Over League last season.
“Of course, playing in the Division Two is quite unfamiliar,” Ssempijja told Daily Monitor.
“But it’s only a matter of time before we return to the top tier,” he said following his side’s opening 100-run victory over hosts Jinja Secondary School last Sunday.
“We went down together. So we decided to stay and fight as one for Charity’s promotion,” Ssempijja said of his brother and other senior players including skipper Jonathan Ssebanja and Innocent Ndawula. Youngsters like Borris Aguma, Simon Okecho, Rogers Olipa, Frank Akankwasa, Zephania Arinaitwe and Simon Ayella all did the contrary. Inevitably, Charity laboured to fill their voids.
Ssempijja duly showed spirit for the mission against Jinja with superb batting but narrowly missed out on his first career century. The right-hand batsman made 97 runs off 108 balls before his mistimed pull shot was caught at short fine-leg off David Wabwose’s delivery.
“Falling short of such a landmark by three runs was painful,” the 21-year-old calmly said, “Anyway, the season has just began. Just watch and wait, my first ton is on its way as we aim to return to the top ranks,” he added.
The 2012 National Twenty20 runners-up Charity went on to set 237 in 46 overs, a target that was well protected by Davis Achire’s figures of 6/26.
DIVISION 2 RESULTS
Charity TF 237/10 Jinja SS 137/10
(Charity TF won by 100 runs)
ACC 108/10 Mwiri 84/10
(ACC won by 24 runs)
Premier 121/10 SKLPS 126/6
(SKLPS won by 4 wickets) .