Olila dominate awards, Jinja defiant

Habibu Mugalula, the Cricket Master of Jinja Senior Secondary School, taunted the rivaling schools that ‘we are here to stay’ in the aftermath of his school’s tense five-wicket win over Masaka Secondary School in the final of the UCA Girls Cricket Week at Lugogo Oval on Wednesday.

Jinja SSS hit new highs by winning a record sixth title at the tournament’s 16th edition but none of his players stepped onto the podium to collect an individual prize.

Mugalula, though, refused to buckle when journalists asked whether his school was becoming a waning powerhouse.

“If you look at all those other schools, they have players that I personally nurtured,” said Mugalula, a bowling all-rounder in his heyday. “They have no culture. They pick players from everywhere and then boast that they’re improving.”

But as Mugalula took a dig at the chasing pack, Johnny-come-latelys Olila High School could afford to sit back, relax and smile after they dominated the annual showpiece using their home-bred talent.

The Olila trio of towering Mildred Anyigo with 66 runs was the best batter, captain Joyce Mary Apio (with 13 wickets) was the best bowler whereas Esther Iloku stood our as the best wicketkeeper with four dismissals.

“It is a bad thing for us not to have made it to the final. But we have showed that we have quality littered across all departments in our side. People have seen what we can do and I am certain we will be back stronger next year,” said coach Ivan Kakande, who was flanked by Soroti Cricket Academy patron Felix Musana, a man who takes the credit for giving birth to the gentleman’s game in that region.

For Masaka SS, who lost in their first appearance in the final after four editions in the national competition, their consolation was having Most Valuable Player (MVP) Immaculate Nakisuyi in their ranks.

The Lady Cricket Cranes star was in her own class with 138 runs and six wickets.

UCA Girls Cricket Week
Individual Award Winners
Player of Series: 
Immaculate Nakisuyi (138 runs & 6 wickets, Masaka SS)
Best Batter: 
Mildred Anyigo (66 runs, Olila HS)
Best Bowler: 
Joyce Mary Apio (13 wickets, Olila HS)
Best Fielder: 
Ssanyu Nabagala (5 dismissals, Gayaza HS)
Best Wicketkeeper: 
Esther Iloku (4 dismissals, Olila HS)

By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Cricketers thirst to be fully quenched at 2015 UCA Awards Night

Recognising individuals that excel in sports is not common in Ugandan sport. However, it’s not that rare. A few bodies including Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) do reward best performing sportsmen.

In the aftermath of last year’s edition, CEO Justine Ligyalingi assured the UCA Awards Gala would be an annual occasion like Christmas Day.

True to his word, the UCA Awards Gala are here again. Guests will converge at the Copper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo to reward 2015’s best tomorrow night. The Gala has been spiced up with sponsors Nile Breweries and Pepsi. “We are grateful for their contribution towards the event,” Ligyalingi said. “With their support, we expect this to be a success come Thursday (tomorrow).” According UCA Development Officer Henry Okecho, shortlisted contestants will battle for nine awards.

The biggest of them all is Male Cricketer of Year gong whose contestants are 2014 winner Roger Mukasa (Tornado B), Ivan Thawithemwira (Challengers), Hamu Kayondo (Wanderers) and Irfan Afridi (KICC).

AWARDS CATEGORIES
Male Cricketer Of the Year
Female Cricketer Of The Year
Young Male Cricketer of the Year
Young Female Cricketer of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Team Manager of the Year
Coach of the Year

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