Diamonds struggle against revived Thunder Queens


Lackluster champions Diamonds were far from convincing when they sweated to overcome revived Thunder Queens 31-27 in a Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League fixture at Blantyre Youth Centre on Saturday.

However, the below-par Diamonds made sure to collect maximum points during the game that also marked the launch of the Rainbow Paints sponsored league.

Thunder (formerly MTL Queens) also started sluggishly and they allowed Diamonds to lead 10-4 at the end of first quarter.


Knowing the significance of the match, Thunder introduced Emily Jere for unimpressive Chikumbutso Banda but they still trailed Diamonds 18-11 at half time.

Soon after resumption, Thunder tightened the defence of goalkeeper Joanna Kachilika, goal defender Martha Dambo and wing defender Esther Kayira.

In attack, centre Thandi Mwale linked up with wing attacker Pilirani Msukwa to supply Jere and goal-shooter Sherratie Kaiche with telling passes.


In this quarter, Diamonds were restricted to just four baskets and it allowed Thunder to equalise as the third quarter ended 22-up.

Thunder started the fourth quarter impressively as they opened a two-basket lead but Diamonds responded swiftly to snatch the lead.

Diamonds rested wing attacker Eneles Mdezo-Manda for centre Rebecca Germany and the move allowed Bridget Kumwenda to shift from centre court to wing attack.

In defence goalkeeper Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, goal defender Carol Mtukule-Ngwira and wing defender Wezzie Mzembe intercepted some crucial balls which allowed goal shooter Grace Chazungulira and goal attacker Jessica Mazengera- Sanudi to score more baskets.

Umpiring was not at its best as both umpires committed mistakes which left officials from both teams seething with rage.

Thunder should also have won the game if their shooter Kaiche had converted most of the chances she got.

Diamonds assistant coach Noel Mussa said it was an important victory in their quest to defend the trophy.

“We didn’t play well today and we misplaced a lot of passes. However, when we shifted Bridget from centre to wing attacker and introduced Rebecca Germany for Eneles, we turned around the tie,” he said.

Thunder team manager Annie Sanga-Kapatuka blamed the loss on one of the umpires.

“One of the umpires was bias. We started badly but when we replaced Chikumbutso Banda with Emily Jere things changed. We could have won if the umpire was not bias. Anyway, some of our players are coming from maternity leave and once they gain match fitness we will be a force to reckon with,” she said.

In other games, Chilomoni Sisters beat Gerald Tasaukadala Sisters 42-34 while Airwing Sisters spoiled the league debut of newcomers Antonio after they won 62-17.

Airwing also defeated Shizaella 50-40. In another equally exciting match, Complex Tigresses defeated Alliance Capital Stars 77-28.

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