Strathmore School retained their place in the elite schools competition Prescott Cup - relegating 11-time champs St. Mary's in the process - after winning a playoff tie they hosted on Tuesday evening 62-3.
The Bandits, as they are fondly known, were no doubt the superior side as they dominated from the onset to see off the Saints who had only been promoted back for this year's competition after three years in the cold.
They led 33-3 at half time after grounding five tries with four converted against a penalty by Saints. Five more tries in the second half, two converted ended the contest.
Front row Brian Gichungu started it all five minutes into the game when he bulldozed past five Saints backs to touch down under the post. The conversion from fly half Alvin Nyaga was perfect for a 7-0 lead.
Chris Njuguna took off on the blindside two minutes later escaping a clutch if tackles to go all the way to the center post for the second try that Nyaga converted for a 14-0 lead.
Saints were to reduce the arrears with a mid pitch penalty before Strathmore topped up with three more tries from their winger, the outstanding Njuguna who completed his brace and second row Trevor Mutisya. Nyaga topped up with two conversions.
Trevor Kesore, Hillary Kangethe, Ryan Mule, Alvin Nyaga and Austin Oketch added the second half tries with Mutisya and Nyaga converting one apiece. After this flurry the center referee ended the second half midway.
"They played according to instructions and wanted the win and were hungry for it. I am glad they picked the win as they wanted and now we can start focusing on next season," said Strathmore coach Andrew Karani, a renowned top referee, after the game.
Gregory Sang from Saints had this to say; " They played their best but it was not their day. They got some good exposure and picked vital lessons from the game that will be useful in future."
For Strathmore it was second straight year that they found themselves in a relegation dog fight. To have contested this year’s Prescott, the Bandits had to square it out with Githiga High School in March at Nairobi School to remain afloat. They won that game 34-14.
To book the Tuesday playoff, both Strathmore and St. Mary's propped their respective pools as both ended up fifth.
The Bandits were last in pool A with a single point after posting four straight losses; 41-5 to Muhuri Muchiri, 23-5 to Ofafa Jericho, 18-15 to Nairobi School and 52-5 to champions Upper Hill School.
11-time champions St. Mary's School registered -2 points to end up last in pool B. They picked a walkover from a no-show Moi Forces Academy in last year’s Damu Pevu final to make a grand return to Prescott Cup.
They lost 63-7 to eventual runners up Rift Valley Academy (RVA) in their opening Prescott Cup game then went on to lose 24-0 to Lenana School and 36-0 to four-time champs Mangu High. They issued out one walkover to Alliance High School.
Saints place in Prescott Cup will be taken up by Dagoretti High who clinched this year's Damu Pevu with a 39-0 win over Thika High School.