Crunch time as Kenya Cup & Championship playoff races heat up

It is crunch time for Menengai Oilers, Stanbic Mwamba and Top Fry Nakuru in their quest to secure the two remaining Kenya Cup slots.

Oilers are in their second season in the top tier league and have lived to their dark horse tag given to them by pundits at the start of the season. They have certainly impressed and looked like playoff contenders. They are two points clear of sixth-placed Stanbic Mwamba and three ahead of cross-town rivals Top Fry Nakuru. With matches against KCB and Kenya Harlequin coming up in quick succession, we should expect a spirited from the Oilers.

Stanbic Mwamba lie sixth on the log, occupying the final playoff slot. They play their remaining fixtures against Resolution Impala Saracens and Nondescripts.

Top Fry Nakuru are just one point and one position outside the playoff berths. They play Kenya Harlequin and Western Bulls on consecutive weekends. The two-time champions will certainly not give up the playoff fight easily.

There will be heartbreak for one among this trio. The next fortnight should make for interesting viewing.

Heading into matchday 15, there is another set of potentially exciting fixtures -especially if the past few matchdays are anything to go by.

Red hot Blak Blad have scorched their opponents in recent weeks to climb to eighth and virtually secure their Kenya Cup status for next season. They play away to the bottom of the table Kisumu at the Mamboleo Showground. Blad were 31-3 winners in the first leg encounter.

Kenya Harlequin registered an important win on the road, defeating Western Bulls last weekend to allay fears of relegation that have lingered over the side. They host Top Fry Nakuru at the RFUEA Ground, seeking to exorcise the first leg memories that saw them squander an 18-3 lead, eventually going down 25-18. A win for Quins will certainly complicate Nakuru’s playoff chances.

Third-placed Homeboyz make the trip to Kakamega to take on second from bottom Western Bulls whom they defeated 36-17 during the first leg. This is one of two fixtures in the Western Kenya town, the other one pitting leaders Kabras Sugar against tenth-placed Nondescripts. Kabras were 40-15 first leg winners.

Stanbic Mwamba are in the sixth and final playoff slot. Their first leg encounter against fourth-placed Resolution Impala Saracens ended in a 26-24 loss and Saturday’s return fixture at the Railway Club is both an opportunity to avenge this loss and keep Kulabu’s playoff qualification hopes alive.

Defending champions KCB were made to fight for the 43-13 first-leg win away to Menengai Oilers whom they host at the KCB Sports Club. The second-placed bankers will be wary of the threat posed by the playoff-chasing Oilers who sit fifth on the log and this should make for an entertaining fixture.