Defending champions Tigresses and their age-old rivals Kukoma Diamonds will tomorrow face-off in a crucial Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) encounter that will decide leaders at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).
Currently, the two giants are tied on 12 points from four-straight wins but Tigresses are at the summit of the 10-team log-table thanks to a superior basket difference while Diamonds are at a distant fourth position.
Thunder Queens are second with 12 points but have so far played five matches. Prison Sisters are third with the same points from seven matches.
However, it is the battle between Tigresses and Diamonds that promises to be tinged with an extra-dose of thrilling action considering that Diamonds have wrested three trophies from Tigresses within a year except the league title.
Diamonds snatched the Presidential Cup, the GOtv Netball Challenge and the Airtel Money Netball Tournament from Tigresses last year.
“The league title is the only recently acquired trophy that glitters in our mantel-piece and we cannot afford to lose it.
“On Saturday, we will fight like wounded buffaloes because we know if we lose our first-round match against Diamonds, our chances of defending the title will be very slim,” said Tigresses assistant coach Charles Mhango.
But his Diamonds counterpart Noel Mussa said they have left no stone unturned on their mission to win all their league matches this season.
“We need to win the league title and complete our mission of winning all domestic trophies. Moreover, our sponsors have challenged us to win the league so as to earn an extra package this year,” Mussa said.
But such a grand encounter cannot take place without some pace-setting matches.
The derby will be preceded by another lip-smacking encounter between Thunder Queens and Alliance Capital Stars, who are fifth with nine points from five games.
Gerald Tasaukadala Sisters and Shizaella Queens will also take it to the court against Chilomoni Sisters and Chitakale Sisters, respectively. n