Thunder Queens have quashed Alliance Capital Stars’ hopes for a third-place finish in the Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) with a 54-25 beating at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday.
Had they won the match, Stars could be at par with Queens on points and could cement their third place with a win in their last game but the loss in this encounter, which ended five minutes before time due to a heavy downpour, has created a six-point gap between them.
Queens remain third with 42 points with two games to go, the same as second-placed defending Champions Tigresses, who have superior basket difference. Stars are fourth with 36 points.
Kukoma Diamonds, whose title decider against Tigresses has been shifted to next weekend, lead the 10-team pack with 48 points from 16-straight wins.
On Saturday, Thunder moved into an early 12-8 lead on the back of some fine shooting Chikumbutso Kaminjolo and Emily Jere. Their accuracy inspired the side to 26-13 lead at half time before the tally increased to 45-19 in the third quarter.
Stars’ coach Mary Waya, who switched from Thunder last season, attributed their defeat to the failure of her charges to play according to instructions.
On the other hand, Thunder Queens coach Christina Nkwanda-Nsinji hailed her charges for putting up a gallant fight that has kept alive their hopes for a historic second-place finish this season.
In another SRNL encounter at BYC, Shizaella Queens displaced Chilomoni Sisters from the sixth place with a 39-33 victory. The two teams have 21 points apiece but Shizaella are better on aggregate. n