Kukoma Diamonds extend Rainbow Paints Netball lead

Defending champions Kukoma Diamonds have increased their chances of returning the Southern Region Rainbow Paints League championship after registering two victories over the weekend  to extend their lead at the summit of the Rainbow Paints Blantyre and Districts Netball League (BDNL) with 12-straight wins.

Diamonds Ntukule attempt to win the ball in action against Serenity Stars (in black) on Sunday- Photo by Arkangel Tembo

Diamonds thrashed Prison Sisters 61-31 in Zomba on Saturday and Serenity Stars 67-24 at the Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Sunday.

Despite missing the services of their star, Alinafe Kamwala who is in Tanzania, Diamonds kicked-off the match with an impressive performance especially in the first and second quarters where they outclassed Serenity.

Diamonds pressed the youngsters on pressure as they were failing to exchange passes and keep the ball for a long time.

A deadly combination of Jessica Sanudi and Grace Chazungulira was a marvel to watch as it caused a lot of trouble to Serenity and no wonder the team took a lead in all the four quarters.

Comfortably leading, Diamonds changed their style of play in the last quarter by adopting a counter attack system of playing long passes.

Led by captain, Caroline Ntukule, Towera Vinkhumbo, and centre Bridget Kumwenda-Chalera   were the engineers who completely changed the game for Diamonds side.

With Diamonds supporters chanting  ‘Wolire Diamonds!! Wolire Diamonds!,”  that gave a lot of energy to their players and  Jessica Sanudi was in top form as she was scoring baskets for fun and gave a huge work to Serenity  defenders  who were  failing to stop the sharp eyed goal shooter.

Serenity players looked tired in the last quarter as they were losing a lot of balls especially at the centre and failed to contain the marauding Diamonds.

This gave advantage to Diamonds team which kept on putting their opponent on pressure up to the last minute.

Diamonds are now leading the league with 24 points while Thunder Queens, who have 20 points after beating Polytechnic and Chilomoni Sisters are second.

Thunder Queens with the absence of their captain, Joana Kachilika and Thandi Galeta Saenda won 64-14 against Polytechnic before pruning Chilomoni Sisters 71-28on Sunday to move two places up to second place with 20 points from 12 games while Tigresses have slipped to fourth place despite beating Shizaella Queens 70-23. They are tied on 18 points with Prison, who are third due to superior basket difference.

According to BDNL general secretary Annie Hanjahanja-Billie, they expect to wind up the league fixtures by the end of October to avoid colliding with the rainy season, which makes playing on outdoor court difficult.


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