KHC Swans, Weatherhead in Easter Cup triumph

Speed. KHC captain and winger Joy Sserunjogi (R) attempts to beat DCU defender Vicky Aketch. PHOTO/JAMES MUGISHA

What you need to know:

Both sides needed to seal their wins in the shootouts after they could not be separated with Wananchi and KHC Stallions respectively in allowed time in the finals on Sunday.

The Easter Hockey Cup served everything from drama, shock, controversy and nastiness throughout the holiday that started Friday.

But in the end Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) Swans defended the women’s trophy while Weatherhead also won the men’s trophy after ending their ‘boycott’ of Uganda Hockey Association (UHA) tournaments.

Both sides needed to seal their wins in the shootouts after they could not be separated with Wananchi and KHC Stallions respectively in allowed time in the finals on Sunday.

For the women, Wananchi came into the finals on the back of a 2-0 triumph over KHC in the round-robin earlier on Sunday and were the livelier side in the finals.

KHC were insipid partly due to knee injury suffered by their forward Lucky Akello but the backline of goalkeeper Melissa Namuleme, defenders Winnie Nandi, Patricia Nakyanzi and captain Vanessa Abeja kept Wananchi out in open play and were also backed up by tournament most valuable player (MVP) Norah Alum and her sister Winnie Alaro in the penalty corners.

Continued controversy

Alum, Akello, Sanne Swinkles missed in the eight-second shootouts while Alaro, KHC’s second taker scored. But the fifth taker Margaret Nassiwa had her first attempt saved but also her stick hooked by Wananchi’s goalkeeper Angel Achayo. The umpires awarded a spot flick which KHC elected Swinkles to take.

Initially, Wananchi, showing a lack of understanding of the rules, refuted asking that Nassiwa take the flick. Then they switched goalposts saying Nassiwa’s stick was hooked after the save. But they were wrong again because her eight seconds had not elapsed. When this defence was rejected by the umpires, Wananchi walked off the pitch forfeiting the match.

At the time, Wananchi were level at 1-1 after Lucy Aciro had scored their fourth attempt. Teopista Anyango, Doreen Mbabazi and Jolly Alimo had missed with Irene Nyapendi yet to take.

It was an interesting ‘change of heart’ from a side that accepted a controversial flick to draw 1-1 with Mombasa Sports Club in the Pearl of Africa Women’s Tournament over a fortnight ago. At the time, a Mombasa defender picked the ball with her hand in the D to restart play after it had appeared to have travelled out of play. The umpires thought it had not and gave a flick for deliberate stoppage in play.

But it is not the first time that Wananchi have been involved in a shootout controversy – they were just on the wrong end of usual practice this time and too adamant to acknowledge it. Last year in the women’s Uganda Cup semis, Weatherhead forfeited a shootout because they thought they would be separated with Wananchi through spot flicks. But the rules clearly indicate it is supposed to be through eight-second flicks.

Ekapolon stands guard

For the men, Weatherhead and KHC had met in the group stages of the Easter Open and had drawn 1-1 as the former’s Collines Batusa’s drag flick from a late penalty corner cancelled out Ernest Musumba’s early opener.

But both sides managed to nullify each other in the final. Only Stewart Kavuma scored for KHC in the shootout as Paul Kayanga, Jordan Mpiima and Alfred Agaba were all stopped by Weatherhead keeper Charles Ekapolon. Solomon Mutalya missed for Weatherhead but it was inconsequential as Ashraf Tumwesigye, Timothy Ntumba and Lawrence O’kongo got the better of KHC keeper Richard Kaijuka.

In the schools tournament, Kakungulu Memorial beat Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga 3-0 in the girls’ final on Friday while the Kyaddondo SS beat Kakungulu 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw in the allowed time.

Kyaddondo had it easier in the finals after losing twice to Kakungulu in their first meetings of the day partly because the latter’s playmaker Shafiq Byamukama had suffered a serious head injury after being hit by the former’s Amr Seruwagi. Byamukama will apparently need reconstructive surgery.


B: Kyaddondo 0(5)-0(4) Kakungulu

G: Kakungulu 3-0 Namagunga


M: Weatherhead 0(3)-0(1) KHC Stallions

W: Wananchi 0-0 KHC Swans

Wananchi forfeit with shootouts tied at 1-1

Semis – Men

KHC Stallions 4-3 Wananchi

Weatherhead 1-0 Wazalendo (KEN)