Goals from Bruce Fwaro and Shadrack Opetu in each half enabled Rombosia FC to deny Umri FC a third title in a raw as Salama Super Cup tournament came to an end.
Rombosia FC, fielding a young, hungry squad, refused to be intimidated by the ageing Umri experience, picking a clean sheet in an entertaining evening staged on the New Year at the Kiwanja Ndege Grounds in Bungoma town.
Shadrack tapped in the opening goal in the 18th minute after a brilliant surge by the youngsters from the right flank, leaving custodian John Kabaka helpless.
Umri threaten to find an equaliser some minutes later when Steve Wekola and former AFC Leopards sensational Bernard Mang’oli launched a counter attack that caught the Rombosia’s backline off guard.
Umri, a Swahili word for ‘age’, relied on the experience of Nzoia Sugar’s veteran midfielder Peter Gin, Mang’oli, Christopher Wesamba, Alfie and Babji, all above 35 years, to contain the speedy Fwaro and Shadrack who were a constant thorn in the flesh of the giants.
While Rombosia FC comprises of youthful players who trade their football in the FKF Division Two League, Umri FC was established around five years ago by mainly former league players and fans to play the game for charity activities, fun, their physical fitness and providing mentorship to young players from across Bungoma and the neighbouring counties.
Earlier on, Ranje FC, who had fallen 1-0 to neighbours Rombosia FC in the semis, dismissed Sirens FC with an 87th minute solitary goal to bag the 3rd that came with a Sh10,000 cash price.
Umri had picked their ticket for the final with a 5-4 post-match penalties win after a 2-2 draw with Sirens.
Salama Super Cup is a charity tournament held every December to remember the late Western Toast Ltd Director Hamado who died in December, 2019 after a short illness.
His younger brother, Jamal ‘Muli’ Mohamed, has since taken up the mantle to continue with the legacy of the late who was a celebrated philanthropist.
The Salama Super Cup third edition had four pools of three teams with eventual winners Rombosia pooling with Blue Waves and Veterans in Group A while former two-time Champions Umri battled it out with Khaoya FC and Bungoma Altars in Group B.
Last edition’s finalists Griffins Football Academy were pooled with Sirens and Talent FC in Group C as Ranje, Bungoma Allstars and FC Bungoma closed the last group, D.
According to tournament coordinator, Kennedy Opatta, the tournament was a charity activity to remember Hamado and and a gesture by Salama Bakery to give back to the community that has for years, trusted the Western Toast bread produced the 52-year old brand.
“I want to thank everyone that has supported Salama Bakery to honour our late brother Hamado through our trademark bread, Western Toast. This is a humble gesture to give back to the community and we wish to encourage other business entities to come on board and nurture such amazing talent,” said Mr. Opatta, popularly known as MC Opash.
The new Champions bagged the cash prize of Ksh35,000 with another Ksh10,000 from Chief Guest and business contractor, Mr. Arthur Wafula.
Umri walked away with Sh25,000 with Sirens taking home Sh5,000.
Speaking during the ceremony, Salama Bakery Director Jamal Mohamed promised to expand the tournament to 48 teams drawn from all the corners of Bungoma County as a way of benefiting more teams that are outside Bungoma town.
“We are seeking to expand the tournament to 48 teams and this time, the league will run for two weeks to enable guest scouts get a variety of talent from the villages,” he said.
Football enthusiast and coordinator Mr. David Kalamu, thanked the Western Toast team saying that a lot of promising talent has been spotted and will be nurtured.
“Through this Salama Super Cup tournament, we have been able to identify very promising talent and I hope to have more scouts from big teams attending our future matches,” said the part time Nzoia Sugar FC trainer.