“I couldn’t believe it. We had scored 8 goals in the first half of a game everyone thought would be tight.” Boaz, a defender with Omujuma (2009-2014) recalls vividly how the season X derby against arch rivals Kalele (2010-2015) went down at GEMS Cambridge, Butabika in 2019.
Exactly one year ago on this day (May 26), on a bright sunny Sunday morning that came after a heavy downpour overnight, TY Omujuma scored a dozen goals against SC Kalele – the highest goal tally they have ever achieved in the Ntare League. Omujuma, who were making a return to the league after a one year sabbatical, were not having the best season. A poor run of form in which they had gone 6 games without a win was incomparable to Kalele who were flying high.
Mugerwa Brian Paul, MBP as he is popularly known, says he spent the whole Saturday calling onto his players to make sure they don’t miss the game because a loss against Kalele is the last thing that he would let happen to a team he captained. (Omujuma had won by 2-0, in the fixture at Namboole in Season 8)
Did his players disappoint? Absolutely not, some 25 plus players and fans turned up that morning, the previous night’s shower not withstanding. By the time Omujuma’s starting team and their substitutes were warming up, Kalele only had one of the members at the pitch – their kit man who had had no plans of playing that day. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, Kalele were able to raise the minimum number of players required to kick off and by the time the referees decided to get the action going, there were 8 Kalele players ready for action.
“When I saw our lineup on one side and the other guys ready for us across the wet pitch, I knew it was going to be a long day. The best we could do was to lose honourably,” Kalele captain of the day Mukama Emma recounts.
Little did he know that all hell would break loose immediately after kick off. Atuhaire Marvin’s long range effort from the center bounced just in front of the Kalele goalkeeper into the net to make it 1-0 within seconds. Moments later, after a short exchange of possession, MBP scored to make it 2-0 before adding another one almost immediately. Kalele just couldn’t keep the ball. Emma’s efforts were going to waste up front as he was tight marked by Joseph Byamugisha and Ernest Akorebirungi, so he shifted to the midfield.
“When I saw their support striker struggling to run (because of being unfit), I knew my work was going to be easier that day,” Byamugisha notes. “I was even able to go forward, leaving Ernest behind alone, and score a goal of my own,” he adds.
By half time, Omujuma had scored 8 unanswered goals in similar fashion – Marvin (2), MBP (4), Joseph (1), Boaz (1). MBP was the architect of all the moves where the scorer had to just tap in the ball past the goalkeeper as his defenders looked on. After the break, Kalele came up with a master plan that would reduce the damage. To pass all the balls to Emma who would then knock them as far outside the Gems Cambridge perimeter wall, as his legs could.
It had been working well until Fred, the GEMS Cambridge Groundsman decided to bring more balls from the store and ensure time wasn’t being wasted returning the balls kicked by Emma back to the pitch. Mwesigwa ‘Sobibar’ Allan, one of Omujuma’s most lethal strikers, arrived late for the match but there was just enough time for him to bag a hat trick in under 15 minutes.
Even when Kalele were able to raise full numbers for the remainder of the match, Omujuma continued to waste chance after chance and relax in defense as everyone tried to add their name to the score sheet. This would lead to Emma scoring a consolation goal for his team after chancing on a loose ball at the right flank and speeding away to beat Ategyeka in goal in typical fashion, by burying it in the far bottom corner.
However, there was still room for just one more goal. Ernest, who had been in defense all day, headed the ball in at close range from a cheeky lobbed pass by Besigye who had come on from the bench.
“I was overjoyed. It was my first goal for Omujuma in the Ntare League, and there couldn’t have been a better day to score it,” Ernest says over a phone call.
To this day, that remains the only goal he has scored. When the referee blew the final whistle to bring an end to a rather shocking 12-1 thriller, it was all smiles from both sides. Omujuma for having silenced their rivals in one of the hottest derbies of the Ntare League, and Kalele knowing that they had just been ambushed and couldn’t have done any better.
And since that day, Kalele have been on a payback mission while Omujuma have never stopped reminding them of what happened on May 26, 2019.