How Heathens beat Pirates to Uganda Cup title

Heathens hoist their title. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

Joseph Oyet scored two drop goals in extra time to help Heathens to a 20-14 win after the two sides had been tied at 14-14 at the end of 80 minutes.

Heathens’ journey to a 12th Uganda Cup title will always be remembered for how they got into the final.

That coin toss to separate them from Kobs and into the final will live long in the memories of rugby enthusiasts.

That 16-all draw, to many, was the ultimate final and there was no way the clash with Stanbic Black Pirates in Entebbe was expected to better what had been exhibited at Legends.

There was, however, no need for another toss of the coin this time round but Heathens needed extra time and relied on their experience down the stretch to beat Pirates in a final played some kilometres out of town, at Entebbe Namate Grounds.

Joseph Oyet scored two drop goals in extra time to help Heathens to a 20-14 win after the two sides had been tied at 14-14 at the end of 80 minutes.

 It was an intense final that kept swinging in momentum but the team in yellow was the only one that fought to win in extra time.

Timothy Odongo’s last gasp try in the right hand corner of the pitch had levelled matters for Pirates but Ivan Magomu’s fluffed conversion meant Heathens still had a chance to fight.

Pirates had forced the issue to level the scores but were a no-show in to extra time.

Oyet, whose try had opened the scoring for Heathens split the uprights in either half of extra time to decide the game.

With Pirates leading 6-5 following Magomu’s two first half penalties, Nkore got another three points off the boot to stretch that lead to 9-5.

Heathens were in a spot of bother but sustained pressure in the second half yielded two penalties that were converted by veteran Chris Lubanga to hand Muhammad Athiyo’s troops an 11-9 lead.

Oyet added another penalty with the clock running down and at 14-9, Heathens looked comfortable and in charge but almost let it slip when Innocent Gwokto knocked the ball forward deep in his half to invite Pirates’ pressure, the result of which was a try in the corner by Odongo.

“It was a tough contest but our experience with cup finals gave us the edge,” veteran hooker Alex Mubiru said after the game.

It was the second game Heathens were playing 110 minutes and with players like Michael Wokorach, Joachim Chisano and Lawrence Ssebuliba out, the yellow machine showed their strength in numbers.

Even when Aaron Ofoyrwoth had to get off injured, veteran Faisal Gamma stepped up to see the game out.

“Heathens wanted it more and I have to congratulate them,” Pirates’ prop Alema Ruhweza told Daily Monitor.

“They were resilient in the pack and dominated the set pieces especially in extra time,” he added.

Meanwhile Makerere Impis defeated Warriors 31-10 to win the Shield while Avengers beat Thunderbirds 8-3 to lift the women’s cup.

Rwenzori Uganda Cup final

Heathens 20-14 Pirates

Shield Cup final

Impis 31-10 Warriors

Women’s final

Avengers 8-3 Thunderbirds