Tigresses have moved up to second in the Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) after displacing Thunder Queens with a 45-41 beating in a tightly contested encounter at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday.
Tigresses have completed their fixtures on 43 points. However, Thunder Queens, who have 42 points, can regain the second place because they have two games to play.
Kukoma Diamonds have an insurmountable 51 points at the summit of the 10-team log table from 17-straight wins and they will take the first prize.
On Saturday, Tigresses and Thunder engaged in a tightly-contested encounter that saw them finishing the first quarter at a 12-12 tie before being separated by only a single basket in the second and third segments when Tigresses led 22-21 before trailing 34-35, respectively.
However, it was in the last quarter that the battle reached a boiling point as tempers flared to the point of sparking a brawl between Tigresses’ shooter Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya and Thunder goalkeeper Joana Kachilika.
The two resorted to a brief fist fight after a series of retaliatory fouls and the umpires sent them to the terraces for the rest of the match. The development left Tigresses with only diminutive goal attacker Ellen Chiboko in the shooting circle while Thunder were left with only goal defender Martha Dambo in the defensive line.
Tigresses coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa and her Thunder counterpart Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji condemned the incident, but attributed it to the umpires’ delay and laxity to blow the whistle for the numerous fouls in the match.
“When some players struggle to mark their opponents properly, they end up committing deliberate fouls. It is high time umpires started writing reports so that the culprits are brought to book,” said Chawinga-Kaluwa.
On her part, Nkwanda-Nsinji said: “My player was being frequently fouled with an elbow yet the umpires failed to control it. All the same, we have lost the match because we did not train the whole week due to lack of funds for the players’ transport.”