Kukoma Diamonds thrashed their old rivals Tigresses in their first meeting of the Southern region netball league by 52 baskets to 37 at the Blantyre Youth Centre.
Playing without their captain and leader Carol Mtukule Ngwira who is out on martenity leave, Diamonds started with real signs of hunger as they led the first quater by 13 baskets to 9. Alinafe Kamwala was a throne in Tigresses defence especially without Lauren Ngwira who is yet to feature for Tigresses this season.
Ngwira is being courted by Alliance Capital netball club which is being coached by former Queens international Mary Waya.
Apart from Ngwira, Tigresses were also without Ellen Chiboko who is nursing an injury.
Tigresses looked an improved side in the second quater but Diamonds seemed to be in full control of the game as they led by 28 baskets to 18 at the end of this quater before increasing their tally of baskets to 41 by the end of the third quater with Tigresses locked at 27.
Diamonds introduced Sarudzai Gondwe and their new signing from Lameck Queens Anabel Phiri in the last quater as they were in full control. Despite being on the field for one quater, Phiri showed signs of maturity as she was able to discipline Tigresses shooter Sindi Simtowe.
After the game, Diamonds Coach Griffin Saenda told Nyasa Times that the result were a true sign of his expectations.
“We have been training hard for this derby and expected to win with a big margin. We studied our opponents and led their game very well and I thank my players for showing good team spirit,” said Saenda who doubles as Regional Sports Manager for the southern region.
In her remarks, Peace Chawinga Kalua for Tigresses admitted her team was below expectations on the day.
“We missed Ellen and Lauren today. We are still improving as a team but Diamonds were just too good for us. We will continue making adjustments to the team and hope to challenge Diamonds in the second round,” said Chawinga who doubles as Queens Coach.
In other results, Thunder Queens thrashed Alliance Capital by 53 baskets to 27 while Shizaella beat Chitakale sisters by 53 baskets to 46. Chilomoni Sisters beat Gerald Tasaukadala by 38 baskets to 27.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :