Kukoma Diamonds have increased their chances of get closer to the southern region Rainbow Paints League championship after beating their old-rivals Tigresses with 51-45 baskets in a highly tempered cracker played on Saturday at Blantyre Youth Centre.
The attracted a lot of netball followers from Blantyre who came in large numbers to watch and cheer their teams.
Tigresses which was coming from a 75-24 win over Chilomoni Sisters on Friday started the match with an impressive performance especially in the first and second quarter where they outclassed…. Diamonds and put them on pressure as they were failing to exchange passes and keep the ball for a long time.
A deadly combination of Beatrice Mpinganjira, Ellen Chibokho and snipper Sindie Simutowe was a marvel to watch as it caused alot of troubles to the Diamonds sides and no wonder the team took a lead in quarter 1 and 2 with 15-12 and 24-23 baskets respectively.
While in the second quarter the game turned into tempers from both sides which saw Diamonds shooter Alinafe Kamwala receiving a match order when she was given yellow card after slapping Tigresses defender Maureen Ngwira.
The yellow card allows the player to rest on the bench and she goes back into the field of play when teams scores four baskets.
When Kamwala was introduced again in the court she continued playing with anger which the rest of Diamonds players was forced to follow as they were complaining that the umpires were favouring Tigresses.
The tempers made the umpires to stop the match for close to 10 minutes and invited technical officials from both sides to make sure they talk to their players to control playing with tempers.
Few minutes later in the third quarter Diamonds brought new ideas and approach as they changed their style of play by adopting a counter attack system of playing long passes.
Veteran defender Caroline Ntukule, Wezi Mzemba, Shillah Dimba, match maker and winger attacker Bridget Kumwenda Chalera were the engineers who completely changed the game for Diamonds side.
With Diamonds supporters chanting ‘Ana a ang’ono kumachita matama’ gave a lot of energy to their players and Alinafe Kamwala was in top form as she was scoring baskets for funy and gave a huge work to Tigresses defender Maureen Ngwira who was failing to stop the tall shooter which made Diamonds to take the lead with 36-32 baskets in the
Tigresses looked disorganised and tired in the last quarter as they were losing a lot of balls especially at the centre and failed to maintain their performance displayed in the first quarters.
This gave advatage to Diamonds team which kept on puting their opponent on pressure up to the last minute.
Diamonds are now leading the league with 37 points from 14 games while Tigresses is coming on second position.
Here are the full results of the games played from Friday to Saturday;