For the first time in over two decades, Southern Region sides will finish the year without silverware.
All major trophies have gone to Central Region teams, which have since warned that it is now their turn to dominate the netball scene.
Lilongwe-based Blue Eagles Sisters, under the guidance of Sam Kanyenda, lifted the Presidential Netball Cup for the first time after dethroning holders, Kukoma Diamonds at Katoto Secondary School in Mzuzu.
Diamonds are from Blantyre.
Yet another Lilongwe team, Civonets, under the tutelage of Whyte Mulilima, also stunned Diamonds to, for the first time, clinch the GOtv Netball Champions League at Don Bosco in Lilongwe.
Eagles and Civonets’ success reduced Diamonds to queen-makers whereas
other Southern Region sides, Tigresses and Thunder Queens, were left in envy.
Kanyenda said Southern Region teams’ honeymoon was over as the netball powerbase was shifting to Central Region.
“We have been knocking on the door for many years but we were unable to get a breakthrough. Now, it is our turn to dominate national events. We won’t rest on our laurels,” he said, attributing their success to the support of Malawi Police Service.
Similarly, Mulilima said the Central Region teams had mastered the techniques of their Southern Region counterparts.
“This now gives us an advantage because the strategies we have put in
place are working. We now have the confidence that we can win major titles at the expense of our rivals who had dominated national events for many years,” he said.
Diamonds Assistant Coach, Noel Mussa, said the defeats were a wake-up call to his side.
“Of course, some factors contributed to our failure in the national tournaments. Nevertheless, we have learnt our lessons. We will no longer get complacent,” he said.
A former national team player, who declined to be mentioned, sympathised with Tigresses and Thunder Queens.
“These two sides do not have sponsorship. If the two were
well-sponsored teams then the league in the South could have been
competitive. Diamonds’ form has dwindled because they don’t
get much opposition from Tigresses and Thunder who are in financial woes,” she said.
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