Kukoma Diamonds were at their tenacious best as they were crowned Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League Champions in their final match against Thunder Queens.
In an electric encounter on Saturday at Blantyre Youth Centre,Diamonds sweated to beat Thunder Queens 41~34.
No one could have predicted which way this latest chapter in the sport’s fiercest rivalry would swing as Thunder was described as team of the moment,while Diamonds was in top form.
Diamonds led by Towera Vinkhumbo were fluent and defensively relentless.
Both coaches kept the faith in their starting line-ups, who duly kicked off proceedings at lightning pace.
Diamonds broke the first centre pass in the third minute and capitalised on the momentum to lead the first quarter.
Usually prolific Diamonds goal attack Jessica Sanudi couldn’t quite get her eye in from her favourite spot at the edge of the circle.
She did put away a few signature deadly long balls (20 goals from 25 attempts), but her efforts were offset by a brutal display from Thunder captain and goal keeper Joana Kachilika.
Alinafe Kamwala for Diamonds was ferocious against a nervy-looking Martha Dambo, constantly in the hunt and nailing a game-high nine deflections against the flow of play.
Down the other end, Thunder Queens were a marvel to watch especially through Chikumbutso, Pilirani and Thandi Saenda.
However, it was Chikumbutso who was outstanding in popping goals for Thunder Queens.
For being crowned Champions,Diamonds received K700,000 and a glitering trophy,while second placed Tigresses went home with K300,000.
Thunder Queens received K200,000 for finishing third.
In individual awards,Chikumbutso Kanjo was voted as the best shooter,while Towera Vinkhumbo was voted as the best defender.
Hawa from Shizaella scooped the best centre award,as Christina Chikangawa from Thunder Queens was voted as the best coach.
Eliner Mapulanga was voted as the best umpire.
Journalists were also decorated with awards with Solomon Manda scooping the best reporter in print, Arkangel Tembo was voted as the best on~line; Mphatso Malidadi from Times Group was voted best reporter in Television,while Bobby Kabango scooped the best photo~journalist.
Best female journalist went to Mwakhele of MIJ while Frank Kandu won the best reporter in radio.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :