Upper Hill School scooped a third straight Prescott Cup title after seeing off Rift Valley Academy (RVA) 38-6 at the St. Mary’s School on Friday 29 June.
Upper Hill, winners in 2016 and 2017 led 19-3 at half time before doubling their first half points in the second half for the win.
In whole Upper Hill landed six tries, four of which were converted by fly half Abutwalib Wesonga. RVA's response were a half half drop goal and second half penalty by fly half Micah Smith who was later named the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Second row Calvin Kahindi opened the scores early in the first half and the boot of Wesonga handed the champions a 7-0 lead. Scrum half James Mwangi added a second unconverted try at the left corner before Smith dropped in RVA's lone points in the half. Seven further points off a converted try under the posts by open side flanker Brian Kimani after a darting run gave Upper Hill the 19-3 point advantage at the break.
The National 15s champions added three further tries in the second half through open side flanker Wandera Mubarak, full back Solomon Mureu and winger Pius Oloo, two of which were converted by Wesonga to seal the game.
Coach Tom Walgwe elated
Speaking right after the game, an ecstatic Upper Hill Coach Tom Walgwe - the sibling of Victor Walgwe who delivered Upper Hill's two Prescott Cup titles in 2016 and 2017 - had this to say;
"With the win we are ticking the boxes. We aim to win all competitions we enter this year and with this title that is one down. We will take a week's break then regroup and prepare for the East African games in August,"
"The boys were determined and played well but there are aspects of the game we need to work on. We conceded no tries but also had left many tries un-scored." he said
A delighted Upper Hill skipper Rolf Smith who was part of the Prescott winning squad in 2016 and 2017 said;
"The team put in a lot of extra and hard work to get here. We hard no rest and I am glad that the work put it has finally shown. We will take a short break then return to focus on the East African title which we wish to add on to the National title we won earlier and the latest Prescott Cup."
RVA''s departing coach Nate Reincheld, a French teacher and Professional Growth Coordinator at the school, was gracious in defeat;
"Upper Hill were a very good side and deserved to win," he said before adding "My boys played from deep down. They played with their hearts and I am really proud of them."
Repeat of 2017 final
The RVA - Upper Hill final was a repeat of the 2017 final held at the same venue. Then, Upper Hill hit a tough RVA 17-0 to retain the title they first won in 2016.
Upper came to this game having been awarded three straight walkovers for reasons beyond their call; a fourth and final pool A game against Muhuri Muchiri - as well as the aborted semi against the same side on Thursday. In between they were awarded a quarterfinal game against a no show Lenana School.
RVA on their part, who last won Prescott Cup in 1994 after dispatching St. Mary's School, and finalists in 1995, 1998, 2008, 2013 and 2017, romped to their second straight final on Tuesday after seeing off host Ofafa Jericho 13-7.
Upper Hill School
1.Cedric Onyango, 2.Jason Adongo, 3. Ayoo Ibrahim, 4. Calvin Kahindi, 5. Emmanuel Munyaka, 6. Wandera Mubarak, 7. Brian Kimani, 8. Rolf Smith (Captain), 9. James Mwangi, 10. Abdutwalib Wesonga, 11. Pius Odera, 12. Ivan Otema, 13. Kelvin Chebet, 14. Brian Oloo, 15. Solomon Mureu Mutunga
Subs: 16. Obam Shaquille, 17. Samuel Otieno, 18. Newton Mose, 19. Okeny Norbert, 20. Dennis Maina, 21. Ian Ndegwa, 22. Dominic Onyango, 23. Hillary Maende
*RVA's lineup to follow
Match officials: Allan Wanjohi - centre referee