‘Peace of Mind, Part of the Deal’ is the motto for Rainbow Paints 25th Anniversary Southern Region Netball League (SRNL), but do not expect defending champions Kukoma Diamonds and leaders Complex Tigresses to respect this slogan when they face off in a decisive match this afternoon at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).
For sure, this will be a fiery encounter not suitable for the faint-hearted. Whenever these two age-old rivals meet, one always expects some flickers of aggressive, yet exciting play, but Diamonds’ assistant coach Noel Mussa and Tigresses team manager Hellene Mpinganjira-Tasosa have confirmed the battle will be tinged with an extra dose of thrilling action.
Diamonds do not just need to win this match to successfully defend the title, but to do it by at least a 91 basket margin while a draw will be enough for Tigresses to take home a third trophy this season after winning the Presidential and Airtel Money championships.
At present, Tigresses lead the 10-team log table with 48 point from 16 games while Diamonds are second with 45 points from the same number of matches. However, Tigresses have notched 1 393 baskets against Diamonds’ 1 303.
“Of course, it will be a tall order for us to outclass our rivals by 91 baskets, but our title defence hopes are still alive until the final whistle,” said Mussa.
But such a grand encounter cannot take place without some pace-setting matches. Thunder Queens, who are assured of the third place for being nine-point clear of their followers, are set to engage fourth-placed Alliance Capital Stars.
Stars need to win this match at all cost to maintain the fourth-place grip as they tie on 27 points with fifth-positioned Prison Sisters, who will face sixth-placed Airwing Sisters in an earlier encounter. Seventh-placed Shizaella Queens and eighth-positioned Chilomoni Sisters will be the first to get into the court at 9.30am. n