Thursday November 30 2017

Wananchi title defence is over, says coach Opolot

Elolu struggled in the first half but was

Elolu struggled in the first half but was unplayable as Weatherhead mounted a comeback in the second half. File photo 

By Makhtum Muziransa


If Wananchi coach Joshua Opolot’s words are anything to go by, then we will have a new champion in the men’s National Hockey League (NHL), for the first time since 2012.
Wananchi have won the last four titles but a poor start to the season coupled by the absence of key players like Derrick Akuwa for four months put paid to the prospect of winning a fifth straight title.
The holders needed to beat Weatherhead, who have two games against minnows Rockets and Simba to play, on Saturday to stay in contention.
Instead Wananchi, who still lead standing with 32 points, could not keep the pace after a brilliant first half as they drew 2-2 with Weatherhead in Lugogo.
“The boys gave it their all but this was not meant to be our year,” said Opolot, whose side scored through Collins Batusa and Thomas Opio in the seventh and 19th minute respectively. A couple of chances that could have buried the game were wasted at a time when Weatherhead players looked like they were still discomforted by the food they had while celebrating their 20th anniversary last weekend at Silver Springs, Bugolobi.
Weatherhead, on 30 points now, went for broke in the second half and Wananchi paid for leaving Peter Elolu unmarked. He scored two minutes after the break while Timothy Ntumba equalized two minutes from time.
At the death, Batusa let out his frustration by attacking Weatherhead captain Emmanuel Wabuyaka and was consequently sent off by stand-in umpire Saddam Hussein.
Now Wananchi need a miracle from Rockets and Simba who have conceded 25 and 26 goals against Weatherhead in the league respectively.