Tigresses have won the OG Issa Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) first-round after beating defending champions Diamonds 41-28 at the Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) yesterday.
This means Tigresses have finished the round’s 12 games on 36 points—six points ahead of Diamonds who have dropped to third position with 30 points. But Diamonds remain with one game to complete their first round fixtures.
MTL Queens, who beat Prison Sisters 52-26 in an earlier encounter, have moved to second place with 30 points from 11 games as well but have a superior aggregate.
It was a fiery encounter full of rough play on both sides, but Tigresses still led in all quarters. They led 10-7 in the first-quarter before increasing the tally to 20-15 and 31-19 in the subsequent segments.
Diamonds came out stronger in the third quarter, with a much tighter attacking unit, but their shooting line of Alinafe Kamwala and Sarudzai Gondwe made frequent misses under the hoop.
On the other hand, Tigresses shooters Sindi Simtowe and Ellen Chiboko were as sharp as a razor blade; scoring for fun to the delight of their fans.
In the dying minutes of the game, Tigresses substituted Simtowe for Maureen Munthali after she was scratched on the neck by Diamonds imposing defender Carol Mtukule-Ngwira.
Tigresses coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua said her team was let down by some of the players’ lack of fitness.
Her Diamonds counterpart, Griffin Saenda, accepted defeat, saying they will improve in their next games.
Saenda said: “We have lost because our counterparts played better than us. We congratulate them. We made a number of mistakes which will be rectified during training.”