Giants Kukoma Diamonds and First Choice Tigresses will renew their rivalry in a Rainbow Paints Blantyre and Districts Netball League first round decider at Blantyre Youth Centre today.
Outside the court, the two giants’ sponsors will also be following the action with keen interest as they are cousins.
Interestingly, Diamonds and Tigresses’ reserve sides will also lock horns Sunday at the same venue in a Botsalt Blantyre District final match.
The winner of the junior contest will qualify for the regional finals.
However, the real focus is on today’s match as both teams know the significance of winning in their quest to win the championship.
The two heavyweights are tied at 18 points apiece but Diamonds lead courtesy of a superior goal difference whereas Tigresses are second.
Diamonds Assistant Coach, Noel Mussa, said maintaining their perfect record was the ultimate mission as they bid to defend the league.
“We have seasoned players who are eager to fight tooth and nail to win the match so that our winning record should remain intact. If we win, we will enhance our chances of retaining the title,” Mussa said.
Diamonds will bank their hopes on the class of Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira, Jessica Mazengera-Sanudi and Alinafe Kamwala to carry the day.
Their multitalented trio of Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Shira Kapasula-Dimba and Salome Vinkhumbo are also expected to temporarily return from the Malawi women’s national football team to help their netball side.
Tigresses Coach, Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, described the match as crucial.
“At stake is a place at the summit of the first round and we cannot afford to lose. Our rebuilding exercise is on course and I am sure my players will not disappoint because they all know the importance of this game. We know that Diamonds are a good team, full of experienced players. But we have all it takes to win,” she said.
Tigresses have a combination of experienced and youthful players such as Grace Mwafulirwa- Mhango, Sindie Simtowe- Msowoya, Cathy Khofi, Awema Chikaonda and Catherine Yikwanga.
In other games set for today, Tropical Queens will meet Chilomoni Sisters before clashing with Serenity Stars.
Shizaella Queens will also take on Chileka Sisters.