Strathmore Festus Odhiambo vies for the ball againsts USIU-A?s Alex Kubasu in their Kenya Hockey Union Match played at City Park Stadium

The two time champions beat Parklands Sports Club (2-0) on Saturday and United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) (1-0) on Sunday to dislodge reigning champions Butali Sugar Warriors.

Gladiators played their hearts out, outshining their opponents and going all the way to the top from fourth place for the first time in a long time.

Festus Onyango starred for Gladiators, scoring the all-important goal in their 1-0 victory over USIU-A before adding a second goal in their tie against Parklands.

Strathmore head coach Meshack Senge, who was impressed, showered his players with praises saying they had fought a good fight and deserved the victories.

?They (Gladiators) played well and deserved the wins, with that kind of determination, we are on our way to regaining our lost glory,? Senge told FeverPitch at City Park Stadium on Sunday.

Strathmore were last crowned KHU champions in 2010 in a disputed league that saw them declared winners by a tribunal at the expense of Kenya Police. Police came back stronger and dethroned them in 2011 and since then, the students have never bounced back to reclaim their title.

Gladiators top the table with 16 points from eight matches, while reigning champions Butali are second a point shy of Strathmore, having played six matches.

The 2013 champions Police are third with 12 points from four wins and a loss, while USIU-A are fourth with 11 points from six matches. Wazalendo, who regained their footing after a bad start to the season, are fifth with 10 points from seven matches.

Despite not being in action at weekend, champions Orange Telkom are still at the summit of the women?s log with 12 points. The African queens have scored 26 goals in four matches and are yet to concede a goal in their title retention campaign.

Last year?s runners up Strathmore Scorpions are second with ten points from three wins and a draw after recording a 1-0 victory against Kenyatta University at the weekend. The scorpions have failed to shine this season, a move that is worrying their coach Senge.

?We have to go back to the drawing board, something is definitely wrong with my players and I have to find out what it is, with this kind of display we can?t count ourselves as major title contenders,? a very disturbed Senge said.

The biggest beneficiaries in the women?s league were Vikings and Sliders who earned three points to move places on the table.

Vikings beat Mount Kenya University ladies 2-0 to earn their second victory of the season and move to third place with seven points.

Sliders, on the other hand, sounded the board three times to beat Daystar University 3-0. They are fifth on the log, tying on six points with fourth placed USIU-A but with an inferior goal difference.

By Elizabeth Mburugu, The Standard

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