NCPB, Mamba put unbeaten streak on the lineby AGNES MAKHANDIA
- Second-placed NCPB and third-placed Black Mamba have 24 points each from 12 matches but the former enjoy a superior goal difference.
Champions National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Black Mamba and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) put their unbeaten runs on the line when they parade against their respective opponents in the men’s Kenya Handball Federation National League at Kaloleni grounds in Nairobi this weekend.
Second-placed NCPB and third-placed Black Mamba have 24 points each from 12 matches but the former enjoy a superior goal difference.
NCPB battle fast–rising Makueni Bees on Saturday before the Bees return to action on Sunday with a tie against the Mambas where sibling rivalry will be on play.
The Bees coach Gerald Juma is Mambas coach Martin Abunde's elder brother.
A win for the two teams will see them tie with leaders Strathmore University, who are not in action this weekend, on 26 points.
KDF, who occupy sixth place in the 25-team league with 18 points from nine matches, play visiting Rangers.
NCPB team manager Edina Kasandi said their intention to retain the title remains on course.
“Our opponents are coming up pretty well this being their first time in the league but we are not going to give them the satisfaction. We will be going for a win as we target to score as many goals as we can,” said Kasandi.
Juma chose to focus on the positives from his young charges ahead of the match.
“These are students of Mbooni Boys High School in Makueni County. We have been able to post impressive performances against quality teams and as much as a win (against NCPB) is far-fetched, ours will be to stage a good fight against these seasoned teams.”
"It will be an interesting tie considering I will be lining up against my elder brother. However, we are keen on winning the tie as our aim is to reclaim the trophy we last won in 2018,” Ambude said.
KDF will be hoping to extend their good run when they play National Youth Service (NYS) in the only women’s match of the day.
KDF are placed fourth with six points from three matches and a win against NYS will move them into third behind NCPB and champions Nairobi Water Queens who are not in action.
FIXTURES (Men's league unless stated)
Gunners v Rangers (9am)
Makueni Bees v UOE Pippers (10:20am)
KDF v NYS (women-11:40am)
Rangers v KDF (1pm)
Makueni Bees v NCPB (2:20pm)
UOE Pippers v Nanyuki (3:40pm)