Defending champions Kukoma Diamonds thrashed Thunder Queens 55-29 in an exciting Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) match at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) last weekend.
The result has reduced the league title race to two teams—Diamonds and Complex Tigresses. The two sides are tied on 42 points but Tigresses have a game in hand. To win the title, Diamonds need to beat Tigresses by a big margin when they meet in the decisive match.
“Our title hopes could have been over had we lost this particular match because we could have been six points behind leaders Tigresses. But now the gap is sealed. I salute our players for this victory,” said Diamonds assistant coach Noel Mussa.
On the other hand, although they are already out of the title race, Thunder Queens general secretary Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji expressed disappointment with the defeat, saying it was their worst this season.
“This was the first time this season that we have lost a match by over a 10-basket margin. We did not expect to suddenly go down by 26 baskets after narrowly losing 38-46 to Tigresses two weeks ago,” she said.
In spite of that, Mkwanda-Nsinji, whose side is now stuck on third place on 30 points with two games to wind up their fixtures, attributed their defeat to the absence of defender Joana Kachilika and goal attacker Emily Jere.
Kachilika and Jere, who were loaned out to a Tanzanian outfit Uhamiaji Sports Club alongside Blue Eagles Sisters shooter Joyce Mvula, have just returned home after helping the Tanzanian outfit win a domestic trophy.
“We could have done better if we had Kachilika and Jere in our squad last weekend. We really missed their services,” said Mkwanda-Nsinji. n