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Elgon Cup Preview

Uganda's Lady Cranes host the Kenya Lionesses in the first leg of the Elgon Cup this weekend. Based in Uganda, , Peter Ofong previews the game for 

Saturday 12th July 2014
Uganda Lady Cranes Versus Kenya Lionesses
Venue: Kyadondo Rugby Club,Kampala Uganda
Kick Off Time: 14.00

The Elgon Cup is named after a mountain shared by Uganda and Kenya. It is a bi-annual competition in which both the women and men compete against each other.

Like all derbies this cup is fiercely competed by both countries and there will be a loud corresponding competition in the stands as a cacophony of voices route for their respective teams.

The Lady Cranes are the defending champions of the Elgon Cup winning the 2013 edition 31-25 on aggregate. They narrowly lost the first leg in Nairobi 18-17 before winning the second leg in Kampala 13-08.

Their preparations this year have been affected by lack of adequate training facilities. As the game of rugby here struggles with few rugby fields, the ladies have been forced to start their training late at Makerere University grounds,  that does not have the proper facilities especially for ladies. The preparations have thus not been the best compared to previous years.

Both teams are largely unchanged. Lady Cranes Coach Brian Makalama, who is also the coach of Western Bulls Kenya at club level, has selected two new young debutantes. Grace Namulirwa and Charity Atimango who start on the bench. Kenya only has one debutante - Gentrix Mwaro.

Lady Cranes veteran utility back Helen Buteme recently retired from international XVs rugby and her services will be greatly missed. Claire Anena from club Thunder birds replaces Helen at outside centre.  Also missing is seasoned campaigner Charlotte Mudoola , a product of a famous rugby family here. 

There will be a moment of silence before the kick off in memory of the victims of the July 11,2010 terror attacks at Kyadondo Rugby Club venue of the Elgon Cup.

Uganda Lady Cranes 

Warry Ssefunka (Thunderbirds) - captain, Fortunate Irankunda (Entebbe Whales), Christine Kizito (Thunderbirds), Phionah Nalubwama (Thunderbirds), Evelyn Aweku (Thunderbirds), Mary Nakanyike (Thunderbirds), Aalliya Adania (Thunderbirds), Hellen Gizamba (Black Panthers), Rosenburg Kanyunyuzi (Thunderbirds), Harriet Kayonjo (Thunderbirds), Emmanuella Oroma (Black Panthers), Brenda Kayiyi (Black Panthers), Claire Anena (Black Panthers), Asha Nakityo (Thunderbirds), Rachel Kakaire (Thunderbirds), Stella Kyalikunda (Thunderbirds), *Grace Namulirwa (Kyadondo Eagles), Zuhra Namatovu (Thunderbirds), Irene Zigge (Thunderbirds), *Charity Atimango (Thunderbirds), Regina Athieno (Entebbe Sharks), Mary Kyoita (Thunderbirds), Matilda Tino (Thunderbirds)