Thunder Queens on Saturday stunned defending champions Tigresses with a historic 43-37 beating in a thrilling Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) encounter at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).
A last-quarter surge enabled Thunder Queens to earn a first victory in eight years over their bigger opponents in all competitions.
Tigresses led 14-7, 20-19 and 30-28 in the first three quarters, but Thunder Queens turned the tables in the final segment, thanks to a blistering attacking performance from goal-shooter Chiku Kaminjolo goal-attacker Emily Jere, wing-attacker Pilirani Msuka and centre Thandi Galeta-Saenda. Twana Nanseta, Martha Dambo and Joana Kachilika tightened the lid in defence.
“We have suffered defeats at the hands of Tigresses for too long and this is our time to shine,” said Thunder Queenscoach-cum-general secretary Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji while pleading with well-wishers to financially assist them as they travel to Lilongwe for the Presidential Netball Championship national finals next weekend.
The win has helped Thunder Queens to maintain third place on the 10-team log table with 36 points from 14 games, three points behind second-placed Tigresses, who have played a game more.
To Tigresses, last weekend’s result is a big blow to their title defence campaign as they have now suffered two losses and, according to the team’s assistant coach Charles Mhango, it will now be a tall order to catch-up with run-away leaders Kukoma Diamonds.
Diamonds thrashed Young Professionals 123-16 on Saturday to take their tally to 45 points from 15-straight wins against Tigresses’ 39 points.
“With this latest loss it is now difficult to defend the league title,” said Mhango, whose line-up comprised Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya, Ellen Chiboko, Beatrice Mpinganjira, Cathy Yikwanga, Lissy Fiwa, Grace Mwafulirwa Mhango and new signing Beauty Basiyawo.
In other league matches on Saturday, Alliance Capital Stars and Chilomoni Sisters trounced Chitakale Sisters 90-17 and 66-33, respectively.