Police arrest Butali in league duel at City Park
Battle for men’s Premier League promotion set to hit feverpitch as Sailors enjoy one-point lead.
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League champions Kenya Police inched closer to retaining their crown after they dislodged Butali Sugar Warriors from the peak of the log.
This follows a 1-0 victory against 2012 winners Nairobi Sikh Union and the inclusion of their win over Wazalendo that had earlier on been put on hold.
The Law enforcers, who are seeking to win their second consecutive title, top the standings with 57 points, three more than second-placed Butali.
Both sides have played 20 rounds of matches each with Police winning 19 and losing one (to Greensharks) while Butali have won 18.
Butali dropped six points in losses to Police and Parkroad Badgers.
Police captain Oliver Echenje said, with only two matches remaining before the season ends, their aim is to maintain the top spot.
“We are at the top now and that gives us a chance to successfully defend our trophy. However, we must be at our best and maintain the number one position because that is the only way we can make it happen,” Echenje said.
He added that even though they lead bitter rivals Butali by three points, they can only be sure of a successful defence after their last match.
“The race is still open and I believe that whoever wins the remaining two matches will carry the day. They (Butali) enjoy a superior goal difference and only victory in our two clashes can help us extend our reign.”
The duo, who have engaged in a neck-and-neck chase for this season’s trophy, have already booked their tickets to next year’s Africa Club Champions.
They are also set to take part in Nigeria next month for this year’s continental challenge, but are yet to confirm their participation.
Former champions Strathmore University Gladiators are third with 13 points while Greensharks are fourth, tied in 29 points with fifth placed Wazalendo, who have an inferior goal difference.
Western Jaguars, Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU) and Nakuru are rooted at the bottom of the table.
The three, who are likely to face the relegation axe this season, are separated by one point each with Jaguars having 18, whereas KCAU and Nakuru have 19 and 20.
In men’s Super League, Chase Sailors and Multimedia University (MMU) will be battling for the sole Premier League promotion slot.
This follows KHU’s plans to promote one team in a quest to restructure men’s top tier.