For the umpteenth time, in-form Kukoma Diamonds yesterday maintained dominance over their age-old rivals and defending champions Tigresses with a resounding 52-37 thrashing in the Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).
The win has taken Diamonds three steps up at the summit of the 10-team log table with 15 points from five-straight wins whereas Tigresses have slipped to third-place with 12 points from five games.
Thunder Queens have maintained grip of the second place with 15 points from six matches following a 53-27 triumph over Alliance Capital Stars.
For the last 12 months, Diamonds have snatched Presidential Cup, the GOtv Netball Challenge and the Airtel Money Netball Tournament crowns from Tigresses and yesterday they lived up to their promise of earning first-round win over their rivals in a bid to as well wrest the league title.
With the flawless shooting from Alinafe Kamwala and Jessica Mazengera-Sanudi, Diamonds did not have much trouble to lead 13-9 in the first quarter before taking the tally to 28-18 and 41-27.
The introduction of new signing Annabel Phiri in the final quarter, made Diamonds impermeable in defence.
For once, they did not miss the strength and valour of their captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira, who is on maternity leave.
Tigresses were also without their star-shooter Ellen Chibokho and defender Laureen Ngwira, but they were completely outplayed by Diamonds.
“This result means we are in the right course to winning the title. We told our charges to avoid contacts in the goal circle and we are happy that they obliged. We are just waiting for our second round match against Tigresses to seal the glory,” said Diamonds assistant coach Noel Mussa.
On her part, Tigresses coach Peace Chawinga Kalua accepted defeat saying they could not contain the Diamonds.
In other matches, Shizaella Queens beat Chitakale Sisters 53-46 while Chilomoni Sisters outclassed Gerald Tasaukadala Sisters 38-27. n