Revamped Thunder Queens pulled one of the biggest shocks when they staged a stunning comeback to defeat Rainbow Paints defending champions, Tigresses, 43-37 at Blantyre Youth Centre on Saturday.
This was Thunder’s first win since 2008 when they last beat Tigresses in a competitive match.
Tigresses were left weeping and gnashing their teeth having led in all three quarters, only to give away the lead in the final quarter.
The defending champions started the match promisingly as they led 13-7 in the first quarter and narrowly 20-19 at half-time.
In the third quarter, Tigresses extended the lead to 30-28.
Tigresses and Thunder are reeling from serious financial woes, and this put the sides on an equal footing during the match.
Tigresses featured their strongest team with Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya and Ellen Chibokho in attack whereas Beatrice Mpinganjira and Licy Akidu were at wing attack and centre-court, respectively.
Grace Mwafulirwa- Mhango marshaled the defence as Tigresses pressed for a win to enhance their chances of retaining the title.
However, the defeat has all but ended Tigresses’ title aspirations as it would be difficult for them to catch up with run-away leaders, Kukoma Diamonds.
Thunder put up an impressive performance and never gave up even when they were trailing in the three quarters.
Centre Thandie Galeta and wing-attacker Pilirani Msukwa combined effectively to supply telling passes to shooter Chikumbutso Banda- Kaminjolo and goal-attacker Emily Jere.
In defence, goalkeeper Joanna Kachilika, goal-defender Martha Dambo and wing-defender Twana Nanseta were most resolute in the final quarter, denying Tigresses shooters from penetrating into the ring.
In a post-match interview, Kachilika said the win was a result of a well-executed game-plan.
“It has been ages since we last beat them. We had a game- plan which we implemented successfully. Even though we were trailing in some of the quarters, we never gave up. We had to come from behind and we call this mafunde (waves),” she said.
In other matches, Diamonds walloped Young Professionals 123-16 whereas Alliance Capital Stars beat Chitakale Sisters 90-17.
Chilomoni Sisters beat Chitakale Sisters 66-33.
Diamonds top the table with 45 points from 15 games whereas Tigresses lie second with 39 points from the same number of games.
Thunder Queens have 36 points from 14 games. Chitakale anchor the 10-member log table with three points from 13 games.
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