Kampala. National Hockey League (NHL) defenders Wananchi believe they have found the winning formula after their 5-1 win over Simba at Lugogo on Sunday.
Wananchi, with four consecutive NHL titles, are in an unfamiliar second position owing to losses to Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) Stallions (3-2) and Weatherhead (2-0) but consecutive wins against minnows Rockets (8-1) and Simba have got them talking tough again.
“We now want (to play) Kampala,” coach Joshua Opolot said, after the decision to move midfielder Innocent Raskara to defence and push perennial league top scorer-turned-defender Thomas Opio, back to striking to partner brother Jerome Owori and Joshua Gumisiriza, paid off.
The narrative from the Wananchi coach has quickly changed from “let every team mind its fixtures” to the “competition has now begun.”
However, before the second round tie with KHC, who laboured to a 1-0 win over Rockets on Saturday courtesy of Ashiraf Tumwesigye’s goal, Wananchi must play Weatherhead on July 29.
In the women’s league, KHC Swans won their first NHL match with a 3-0 win over new ladies’ side Rhinos – one that broke away from KHC in April – on Saturday.
Throughout the first half, Swans who had conceded 19 in the last three losses threatened to match their men’s side Stallions for lethargy till defender Vicky Auma, in unfamiliar position at Top D, created Melissa Namuleme’s first goal.
Sandra Namusoke scored the second a minute later while Namuleme made it three in the 69th.
Rhinos’ Susan Khainza and KHC’s Judith Mirembe had earlier dismissed notions this would be a grudge match. But it was rather telling that Rhinos’ Annet Awat collapsed in a heap after KHC’s opener while goalkeeper Miriam Nankya shed tears after the match.
SATURDAY NHL RESULTS
M: Rockets 0-1 KHC Stallions
W: Rhinos 0-3 KHC Swans
SUNDAY NHL RESULTS
W: DCU 7-2 Wananchi
M: Wananchi 5-1 Simba