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)
Mildred Anyigo (66 runs, Olila HS)
Joyce Mary Apio (13 wickets, Olila HS)
Ssanyu Nabagala (5 dismissals, Gayaza HS)
Esther Iloku (4 dismissals, Olila HS)
By INNOCENT NDAWULA & DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE
- Published in Girls' Cricket Week