Victoria Cup: Kenya retains title despite stalemate with Uganda
In a dramatic championship showdown, the Kenya national golf team (men) manged to retain the Victoria Cup during the 2023 edition that came to a close on Saturday at Uganda Golf Club in Kampala. The final score was 11 points for both the holders and hosts Uganda but the former retained the title because they were the defending champions.
During the awards ceremony at the Uganda Golf Club terrace, the Ugandan players led by their Captain Joseph Cwinya-ai and Coach Flavia Namakula could only touch and feel the Victoria Cup trophy for a few moments before the High Commissioner of Kenya in Uganda, H.E Maj Gen (Rtd) George Owino handed it back to the Kenyan team.
The two sides went into the tournament finale when they were on six points each. Day three which was played in the singles format (10 games) couldn’t separate the two nations with each side winning five games ensuring that spoils are shared in Kampala.
Joseph Cwinya-ai who never tested defeat throughout the entire tournament capped the championship with a 5&4 triumph over Kenya’s Adel Balala.
Former Uganda Open winner Andrew Ssekibejja also picked victory for the home team with a 1 up triumph over Kenya Captain Dennis Maara. The latter was bowing out as skipper and though he didn’t win in the singles, he was happy to take the trophy back home.
“It’s an incredible feat to retain the Victoria Cup, and we couldn’t have done it without every member of the team stepping up and delivering their very best. We showed that we are a force to be reckoned with, and I’m excited to see what this team can achieve in the future,” Maara said adding that Uganda put up a good show.
Ibrahim Bagalana was another Ugandan player to put up a good show as he beat Sammy Mulama 5&3. The other wins for Uganda came from Ibrahim Ssemakula who beat Danny Chelogoi 2&1 and Titus Okwong who beat Elvis Muigua 2&1.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s John Lejirma who won the Uganda Open in 2020 at the same venue triumphed over Amon Bwambale off 1up.
The other Kenyan victories were; Krisch Beiju who beat Elton Thembo 3&2, Josphat Rono who beat Reagan Akena 1 up, Ebill Omollo who beat John Musiimenta 1 up and Michael Karanga who beat Joseph Kasozi 2&1.
Kenya’s victory was met with cheers and applause from a section of the crowd, as they celebrated their achievement. The home team was also lauded by their faithfuls well knowing that the trophy didn’t stay in Kampala because of defeat.