KAMPALA.

Wananchi were hugely dominant in the first round of the ladies’ National Hockey League (NHL) that they are already primed to defend their title for the second successive time.

The impetus to stop them (12 points and 27 goals), lies with record champions Weatherhead (nine points now). The slim hope is shore up by the fact that they have beaten Wananchi five times in 11 meeting, managing two draws. They believe they can do it again when it matters.

The other would-be challengers Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) Swans, made a mess of their first round by losing thrice – including a 4-0 shock defeat to Deliverance Church of Uganda (DCU).

Swans have conceded 19 goals, more than any club and just six less than the total they conceded last season. The four KHC have scored include a consolation in their 4-1 loss to Weatherhead and the three past Rhinos. They need a power surge, more than any other side in the two leagues.

In the men’s category, the fortunes are different for both Wananchi, who are uncharacteristically third with six points, and KHC who lead with 12 points.

The only constant is that Weatherhead, who despite not being dominant in their games lie between the KHC – enjoying their best ever start to a season – and the defenders with nine points.

Unlike the women, the men’s league is expected to be more competitive with Wananchi, KHC and Weatherhead as main protagonists. Wananchi believe they have stabilized after finding ways to play without the banned Derrick Akuwa and last year’s MVP Innocent Mbabali, who moved to Kenya.

The first round was awash with goals – the ladies scoring 51 but Wananchi account for more than half of that with 27 while the men managed 41; 26 against Simba and Rockets.

Going by the last two seasons, since the league took on the four-round format, it is highly unlikely the two minnows will improve even though both have bolstered their squads. Most enthusiasts will, however, be hooked to see who among the current top three gives up first in the title race.

SATURDAY AT LUGOGO

M: Weatherhead v Wananchi, 2pm

W: Rhinos v KHC Swans, 4pm

SUNDAY AT LUGOGO

W: DCU v Wananchi, 2pm

M: KHC Stallions v Rockets, 4pm

Men’s Table

P W D L F A PTS

KHC Stallions 4 4 0 0 10 3 12

Weatherhead 4 3 0 1 7 4 9

Wananchi 4 2 0 2 15 7 6

Simba 4 1 0 3 7 10 3

Rockets 4 0 0 4 2 16 0

Top Scorers

*4 Goals

Benjamin Mkapa (KHC)

Joshua Gumisiriza (WNC)

*3 Goals

Ashiraf Tumwesigye (KHC)

Vincent Kasasa (WHD)

Andrew Lubega (WHD)

Thomas Opio (WNC)

Ladies Table

P W D L F A PTS

Wananchi 4 4 0 0 27 2 12

Weatherhead 4 3 0 1 9 5 9

Deliverance Church 4 2 0 2 8 12 6

KHC Swans 4 1 0 3 4 19 3

Rhinos 4 0 0 4 3 15 0

Top Scorers

Doreen Mbabazi (WNC) – 9goals

*4 Goals

Siddy Alum (WHD)

Doreen Assimwe (WNC)

Lucy Aciro (WNC)