Zomba-based Prison Sisters pulled a surprise 44-42 triumph over their opponents MTL Queens at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday to make history in the OG Issa Southern Region Netball League (SRNL).
This is the first time in over a decade that a team within the league’s top-three band—comprising Complex Tigresses, Diamonds and MTL Queens— has suffered defeat by a less-fancied outfit.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the thrilling tie was not that the Queens lost, but that they lost so easily. Prison Sisters were expected to be easy prey for the Queens, who, apart from having a home-ground advantage, had higher-ranked players such as Joana Kachilika on their side.
Even fans were hoping that the Queens would once again prove lucky as they were a stronger side playing at home but, instead, the hosts were beaten by the inspired Zomba-based outfit that banked on low-profile stars such as Chinansi Bande, Ethel Ng’ambi and Tiyenkhu Ng’ambi.
Prison Sisters led 12-10 in the first quarter, but trailed 15-17 at half-time before fighting back to a 30-29 lead in the third quarter.
Despite the win, Prison Sisters failed to displace the Queens from the third-place on the 12-team log table. The two sides now tie on 21 points, but the Queens have better basket difference and have played eight matches, a game less than the Sisters.
“We are happy that our dream of beating one of the top-three giants in the league has been fulfilled. I thank the girls for actualising our far-fetched dream. It has not been an easy road,” said Prison Sisters’ coach Pemphero Mtalika.
On the day, MTL Queens found solace in beating Airwing Sisters 46-30.
In other games, Tigresses thrashed rookies Polytechnic 104-16 to maintain their stand on top of the ladder with 21 points from seven straight wins. Diamonds remain second with the same points and number of games following a 106-13 triumph over Aquaid Queens.