Thunder Queens have put Tigresses’ campaign for the 2018 Rainbow Paints Blantyre and Districts Netball League (BDNL) title on the knife edge following a 44-36 beating at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday.
Tigresses are desperate to end a two-season title drought and relive their 2015 league glory but the latest defeat has sunk them further into an abyss of uncertainty as this is their third loss in four matches, one of which came from docked points due to failure to fulfil their fixture against Prison Sisters.
The fading giants are currently eighth on the 10-team log-table with two points following a single win and records show that the league has never been won by a team riddled with three losses.
“This is really a tough season for us,” admitted Tigresses coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa. “But we will try our best to get out of the murky waters.”
On the other hand, Thunder Queens have comfortably moved up to displace Prison Sisters from the second place on better basket difference. Both are tied on eight points from five matches.
Thunder coach Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji, whose side has successfully avenged their 41-45 defeat to Tigresses last season, said the latest victory has nourished their zeal to hunt for their first league title in a decade.
On Saturday, Thunder started on a high note; leading the first quarter 13-7 before increasing the tally to 24-18 and 33-27 in the subsequent segments.
Their respective stars goal shooter Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya and goal defender Joana Kachilika, who were sent off and suspended for five games each after engaging in a fight during their last league match five months ago, were back in action in a thriller that victory favoured the latter.
In other matches, Kukoma Diamonds intensified their title defence bid when they thrashed Machinjiri Sisters 124-14 to amass10 points from five-straight wins while Serenity Stars beat bottom-placed Polytechnic Sisters 60-20 to maintain fourth place with eight points from five games.