Its Blue Eagles Sisters! Diamonds fail to defend PIS Championship

Blue Eagles Sisters are the champions of the 2017 Presidential Initiative on Sports Netball Championship after beating defending champions Kukoma Diamonds by 47 baskets to 45 in the national finals held at Katoto Netball Court in the city of Mzuzu on Saturday.

Mary Banya of Blue Eagles Sisters in action
Blue Eagles Sisters are champs.
Blue Eagles Sisters lift the trophy

The female cops  went past Thunder Queens on Friday in the semi finals with 46 baskets against 31 while Kukoma Diamonds blocked Tigresses from reaching the finals on the same day with 53 baskets against 38.

In the finals on Saturday, Blue Eagles Sisters were seen to possess the needed prowess to snatch the championship from Kukoma Diamonds. Through their sharp Goal Shooter Mary Banya, Goal Attacker Ruth Kanyenda and Wing Attacker Takondwa Luwazi, the Eagles managed the win the first quarter by 13 baskets to 8.

In the second quarter, Kukoma Diamonds upped their game through their Wing Attacker Bridget Kumwenda and Goal Shooter Alinafe Kamwala but they still could not cancel the Eagles’ lead as the results indicated 24 baskets to 21 in favour of the female law enforcers at the end of the quarter.

Blue Eagles went on to finish on top of the defending champions in the third quarter by 39 baskets to 33.

Diamonds came flat out in the final quarter in a serious attempt to close the basket gap and reclaim the championship but when the final whistle was blown it was Blue Eagles Sisters who had 47 baskets to their credit against Kukoma Diamonds’ 45.

Speaking to Nyasa Times after the game, Kukoma Diamonds Assistant Coach, Griffin Saenda Junior, said his side lost the game in the first quarter.

“It’s very painful to surrender two cups this season, the Go Tv and the PIS. Teams came hard on us this season but we are not at all a bad side. We are looking forward to the Rainbow Netball League which we hope to win,” he added.

The winning coach Sam Kanyenda said he was so excited to win the Presidential Initiative on Sports in netball.

“We prepared very well for this tournament. My players were fast and accurate on the ball, marking very well and we led right from the first quarter to final quarter. This is a Christmas gift to our family,” remarked Kanyenda.

And speaking at the same event, Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) President, Khungikire Matiya, thanked government for introducing the tournament. She however asked government to consider increasing the money allocated to netball in the PIS which has been 30 million Kwacha for ten years catering from the district, regional and national level.

Responding to Matiya’s plea on behalf of government, board member for the National Council of Sports, Rodrick Chiwaya, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, assured NAM that the plea would reach the State President and that Malawians should expect the increase next year.

Thandi Galeta of Thunder Queens was voted best Centre for the tournament while Mary Banya of Blue Eagles Sisters was named the best shooter. Joana Kachilika of Thunder Queens was named player of the tournament.

The champions, Blue Eagles Sisters, pocketed 4 million Kwacha while the runners up, Kukoma Diamonds, went away with 2 million Kwacha.

Third place winners Thunder Queens got 1 million Kwacha while Tigresses got 800,000 Kwacha for finishing on position four.

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