PremiershipRugby

Heathens title winning season

Hima Cement Heathens beat DusuPay Warriors 18-13 last weekend to win their 14th Premiership title haing accumulated 80 points, 3 more than second placed Betway Kobs.

Hima Cement Heathens not counted on by many in the beginning to win the title, with booking predicting a back-to-back honor for then defending champs, Black Pirates or the return of Kobs to the top. And rightly so, as the Hima Cement sponsored side had finished in a staggering 5th position the season before.

Heathens shipped in at least seven (7) new faces and many argued they needed time to gel and get with the Heathens but Coach Muhammad Athiyo argued otherwise.

“The boys needing time is not a reason we give because most of them have come from Buffaloes. Buffaloes and Heathens are alike and have the same mentality. They feel right at home,” said a satisfied Athiyo.

Heathens welcomed Paul Epillo, Simon Diego Olet, Charles Uhuru, Gerald Kasooto Ssewankambo, Paul Masendi, Kevin Kermundu and Robert Masendi all from Buffaloes alongside Emmanuel Byamugisha (Warriors), Trevor Ochan (Rams) and Jordan Bongomin (Gulu Elephants) all into their ranks to try and restore sanity and dignity in the camp.

New boys, New Champions. Trevor Ochan (L) and Paul Epillo (R) sit on the Kyadondo turf after their resounding victory against Barbarians on the penultimate weekend. PHOTO BY : EDGAR HAMALA

On the road to the title win, Heathens swept the first leg clean, being the only team to achieve that feat the past season with 9 wins from 9 games and only tasted loss when they met with Kobs for the return leg at Legends. Kobs masterminded a 21-03 first half show and Heathens fight back was late, which saw them lose their first game of the season, 26-21.

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Owing to the number of bonus points Kobs had racked up, the loss would come to bite the Heathens as this saw them surrender the top spot to cross-town rival, Betway Kobs. It had all seemed done and dusted, until Pirates dominated Kobs in their return fixture at Legends. Four first half tries proved a little too much for Kobs to fight and catch up on and a win a day later for Heathens against Barbarians meant that the Kyadondo side were back on top.

With two games to go, Heathens secured wins against Rams and Warriors consecutively to win their 14th premier league title, with Charles Uhuru donning the Captain’s Armband, taking over the reigns from Michael Wokorach who was involving with the 7s side to Hong Kong.

Hima Cement Heathens lost one, and won 17 games to accumulate 80 points, of the possible 90, to win their 14th premier league title.

Jordan Bongomin had been playing center for most of the time until Kermundu left for the US halfway the season to open up space for the big man on the wing. His consistency in attack and defense proved vital for Heathens alongside the experience of  Michael Wokorach, and occasional engine surges of calmness from Alex Mubiru, Gamma Faisal, Chris Lubanga. The veterans fitted well with the rising prospects of Simon Olet, Simon Okwera, Trevor Ochan and Paul Epillo.

Alex Mubiru walks off the field during Heathens win over Buffaloes. PHOTO BY : EDGAR HAMALA

NB: It was Charles Uhuru’s first Premier League title, and Tinashe Peter became the first Zimbabwean to lift the Ugandan premiership title.

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Past Premiership Winners
1991: Heathens
1992: Heathens
1993: Heathens
1994: Not held
1995: Kobs
1996: Impis
1997: Kobs
1998: Kobs
1999: Kobs
2000: Kobs
2001: Kobs
2002: Heathens
2003: Kobs
2004: Heathens
2005: Heathens
2006: Kobs
2007: Kobs
2008: Kobs
2009: Heathens
2010: Heathens
2011: Heathens
2012: Heathens
2013: Heathens
2014: Kobs
2015: Heathens
2016: Kobs
2017: Heathens
2018: Pirates
2019: Heathens

League titles
Heathens: 14, Kobs: 12, Impis 1 , Pirates: 1

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