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How flight delay nearly cost Mwamba RFC Driftwood 7s Glory

The 2015 Driftwood Sevens champions Mwamba RFC narrowly avoided missing their first match against Comras RFC after a flight delay, Nairobi News can exclusively report.

According to the team manager, Dr James Ondiege, the club was due to fly to Mombasa for the annual sevens tournament on Saturday at 8.00 am but their flight was delayed by over an hour.

“We were due to leave Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 8.00 am and land in Mombasa at 8.45 am. Our first was match was scheduled to kick off at 10.12 am,” he told Nairobi News.

The team instead  left JKIA at 9.15 am and landed at Moi International Airport at 9.55 am, 17 minutes to kick off.

They had to rush out of the plane already wearing their playing kit and sprinted into waiting vans.

TRAFFIC JAM

“We again encountered traffic jam while exiting the airport, time was ticking. We were stuck in traffic jam at Chaani,” Dr Ondiege added.

They immediately diverted into the nearby Chaani estate and into the highway.

Mwamba RFC players head to board their delayed plane at JKIA.
Mwamba RFC players head to board their delayed plane at JKIA.

 

Meanwhile organisers had panicked and were making frantic calls to the club chairman George Mbaye, Dr Ondeige and other senior players.

Five minutes to kick off, the team was still maneuvering early morning traffic six kilometres from Mbaraki Sports Club, the venue of the tournament.

Luckily one van managed to evade the traffic and made it to Mbaraki with a minute to kick off.

The only problem was that it was carrying the team’s coaching and management staff and only two players – Humphrey Kayange and Mike Okima. The rest of the players were still a kilometer away.

Panic soared to the heavens!

Kayange went in for the coin toss while Okima ran onto the pitch.

“We just wanted our presence at the pitch to avoid a walk over. The idea was that Tall [Kayange] engages the ref in prematch talk as other players arrived,” he added.

As the referee Moses Ndungu finished the talk and was preparing to blow the whistle, Collins Injera led 7 other players onto the picth. A collective sigh of relief.

Finally Mwamba had a team to play the patiently waiting Comras.

Mwamba went on to win the match 46-0!

The black shirts proceeded to win the tournament to throw the National Sevens Series race wide open.