KAMPALA- The open secret in local hockey is that men’s defending and record champions Wananchi are not good chasers.
The last time they were not in the driving seat of the league after the first round was in 2017. They consequently finished second behind Weatherhead.
When Weatherhead led the ongoing Uganda Baati Hockey League standings by two points after the first round, those who have followed the competition closely over the years could tell Wananchi were in a tough place.
That was further confirmed on Saturday as they lost 2-1 to a peerless and zealous Weatherhead side in their second round meeting at Lugogo.
Weatherhead deservedly drew first blood as Peter Elolu’s square pass found Moses Tushabe unmarked in the D to scoop home at the end of the first quarter.
Quickly after the restart, William ‘Owilli’ Okecha found the equaliser. Both sides then defended resolutely with Ashiraf Tumwesigye as imperious for Weatherhead as Martin ‘Ham’ Okello was for Wananchi.
Weatherhead then restored their lead through player coach Vincent Kasasa’s straight hit from a short corner in the 41st minute. The goal deflated Wananchi’s concentration as the team felt their keeper Joseph Ochan should have been wiser after conceding a similar goal in their 2-2 first round draw.
Wananchi now find themselves five points off-pace with 16 games to play and probably needing favours from elsewhere.
Ordinarily, enthusiasts would expect more turns and twists but over the last few years, these two sides have been too dominant they hardly lose points to the other five teams.
“It is not an insurmountable challenge but Weatherhead are in control now and we shall definitely need them to slip somewhere,” Wananchi team manager Joshua Opolot, admitted.
UGANDA BAATI LEAGUE
W: Wananchi 3-0 DCU
M: City Lions 1-2 Rockets
M: Weatherhead 2-1 Wananchi