Defending Kenya Cup champions Kabras Sugar RFC host former champions KCB RFC in the 2022/23 Kenya Cup final this Saturday at the Kakamega showgrounds, with an opportunity to join an elite group of clubs in the country.
Tang Tang come into this final off the back of a 14-match unbeaten run in the league, their last loss coming in the last day of the 2021/22 regular season, at the hands of KCB at the Lions’ den. A win in the final this weekend will see Kabras become the third side in the modern era to win the Kenya Cup unbeaten, after Quins (2010) and KCB (2018).
History is not a new thing to Kabras, they have been making it since their formation in 2013. They earned their promotion to the Kenya Cup in style, by claiming the 2013/14 Nationwide title, unbeaten. They became the first side to play in the Kenya Cup final in their first season in 2015, and have played in every final since.
When they walk onto the Kakamega showgrounds pitch, Kabras will be favourites to complete that historic feat. On the opposite side will be a hurting KCB side who lost 29-23 to Kabras in the regular season, but who have not lost in a Kenya Cup final since 2015, their last five Kenya Cups have come at the pain of Kabras.
Apart from history, Kabras would be looking to break that jinx and finally get one over the Lions in a Kenya Cup final. Since 2019, they have slowly broken down KCB’s resistance, first by ending a 10-game winless streak against the bankers in a 19-6 result at the den, following this up with a 30-23 win at Nandi bears, then a 9-6 win after extra time, in the 2022 Enterprise Cup final, before this latest win.
They have broken all but one ‘mental barrier,’ and what a way it would be to do it at home, to cement their place in history as an unbeaten Kenya Cup champion?
Kabras were imperious in that 29-23 win over KCB, the linkage play between Kubu and Dukisa proved to be a handful for the Lions. Nyambua and Sikuta dominated the battle on the floor, the four will need to be in similar form and will be key if Kabras are to emerge victorious.
KCB will need to be in Kabras’ face if they are to come back to the capital with their 9th Kenya Cup title, they were far too passive in that league encounter, giving Kabras too much ‘respect.’ They’ll need to take the battle to their hosts and play a bit more with ball in hand, the Lions gave away too much possession, too easily, and were shaky in their fielding, for which they were duly punished.
It promises to be a cracker of a final, maybe another sudden death win on the cards? Yet another exciting chapter in the Kabras v KCB story, this one with history in the offing! All the best to the two teams and may they serve another epic contest!