By Johnson Were and Charles Mutebi
Uganda Cup Final
Heathens 13 Kobs 14
Man of the Match: Bishop Onen
Runners up: sh1.5m
Stallions 17 Tigers 10
Many D’Mark Kobs fans are uneasy about how long the team has gone without winning the national rugby league.
They can’t have similar complaints about the club’s performance in the Uganda Cup, where the Kobs seemingly can’t stop winning.
Saturday at the Kyadondo Rugby Club, the Kobs won their third consecutive Uganda Cup after a gripping 14-13 victory over the MTN Heathens.
Besides coming at the expense of their bitter rivals, Kobs fans will cherish this conquest for the fact that it was sealed by the boot of 18 year-old fullback Joseph Aredo.
The Kobs have been rebuilding their team since their last national league title four years ago and games like these offer them hope of a bright future.
Aredo scored the last six points that secured the victory. He nailed a penalty from close range to give the Kobs an 11-10 lead in the 62nd minute.
Six minutes later, the Heathens having reestablished a two-point lead, Aredo delivered the killer blow, finding the range from a long way out.
The result condemned the Heathens to their first home defeat since 2009 but Bishop Onen almost singlehandedly preserved the record.
Onen, named man-of-the-match, scored a try and penalty in the second half to leave the Heathens minutes away from lifting the Cup.
But the day belonged to Aredo and the Kobs, who accompanied the final whistle with zealous jubilation. “He is a wonderful son and we shall give him all the support needed in his carrier,” said Aredo’s mum Deborah.
Kobs captain Brian Odong attributed the victory to the good defending that withstood waves of pressure towards the end of the match.
“I am extremely overjoyed with this victory but it was all about good defence because the Heathens attacked us to the maximum,” Odong stated.
Heathens coach Brian Tabaruka attributed the defeat to uncharacteristic mistakes and the absence of key players, not least Romano Ogwal and Mathias Ochwo.
“It was all about swing-ball mistakes, but all in all we lacked maturity in our play,” said Tabaruka. “The absence of Romano and Ochwo had a big impact on us.”