Who said soldiers do not cry? Players from military netball outfit Lioness broke down in tears as their team went down to Boma Sisters in dramatic fashion in the regional final for the K35 million Gateway Netball Challenge played Sunday, September 30, 2018 at Salima Community ground.
It was indeed a heartbreaking for the female soldiers from Kamuzu Barracks, who did everything perfectly from the first quarter to the last before their opponents staged a dramatic come back to steal the show in the dying minutes.
Led by their towering sharp shooter Mary Nyirenda, Lioness seemed to be destined for regional glory, heading into the final quarter with a three basket advantage.
They maintained the lead until the dying moments, which saw Boma leveling the baskets before snatching a two-goal lead.
The final score read 38-36 in favour of the Civonets’ reserve side, who were eventually crowned regional champions for a second successive year.
Head coach White Mlilima saluted his girls for fighting till the last whistle.
“We told the girls that if it meant sweating blood in the final quarter, we had to do it and they really fought their lungs out,” said Mlilima.
His counterpart Franklin Kumtendere accepted the paiful loss, saying it was simply not their day.
For winning the regional championship, Boma received a trophy and K350,000.
Lioness got K250,000 with third-placed Green Sisters Junior pocketing K200,000.
Luanar Sisters, who lost the third-place play-off went home K150,000 richer.
The four semifinalists automatically qualified for the last phase of the competition- the Top 8, whose finals have been scheduled for the Mothers’ Day at the Gateway Netball court in Lilongwe.
Seeded into the top 8 are defending cup champions Blue Eagles, Civonets, Mafco Soldiers and Green Sisters Senior.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :