Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
REIGNING champions Correctional Queens got the ball rolling on a positive note when they defeated Flow Angels 56-27 in their season-opener in the Rainbow Amateur Netball League that got underway last Friday.
Correctional Queens started their campaign away from home, taking on Flow Angels at Glen View 1 Hall on Saturday and emerged winners with their goal-shooter Tafadzwa Mawango and goal defender Kudakwashe Muchongwe inspiring the side to a deserved victory.
The prisons outfit assistant coach Faith Matanganyidze, however, said they got a good run for their money from Flow Angels, who put up a good fight against the champions.
“Looking at yesterday’s game (Saturday) against Flow Angels, it’s a team that was not that good last year but reflecting on yesterday’s game, they have changed. They have upped their game and their performance as compared to last year.
“To the other teams that are going to play Flow Angels they should expect tough competition,” said Matanganyidze.
The defending champions suffered their first defeat in two years at the hands of ZDF last year and that was their only loss for the 2019 season.
They have declared their interest for another league title this year to take their tally to three on the trot.
And Matanganyidze yesterday underscored the importance of the side taking their game to a higher level if they are to maintain their dominance.
“For 2020 I think we have acquired different strategies to up our performance from last year, we have tried to use our fitness trainer as much as we can for our fitness and change our game-plan. We want it to be a bit different from last year.
“We need to work hard, we don’t want to lose any game this season. The defeat to ZDF was very painful.
Last year I think we missed a lot on shooting and you find that our opponents would utilise every ball they got. So we need to perfect our shooting, utilise each and every ball we get.
“We need the goals because, for instance, if you look at ZDF, they were beaten to second position by Platinum Queens on goal difference,” Matanganyidze said.
Correctional Queens retained their squad from last year as most clubs beefed-up their sides for the 2020 season which promises to be an interesting one following the huge sponsorship unveiled at the league’s annual awards last December.
In other matches, ZDF beat newcomers Greenfuel Angels 66-33 in Chisumbanje.
ZDF’s Sharon Bwanali rose to the occasion as she netted 63 goals in Saturday’s game to get the golden hand. The national team player has proved to be influential to the side since she joined them last season on her return from the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.
Platinum Queens, who were second in the previous season, also had a good start when they hosted Goldreef as they emerged winners. They overpowered the visitors 38-31 in a closely-contested encounter.
Meanwhile, the match between Beta and Riozim was postponed to a later date.
Support Unit 25, Black Rhinos 52; Khami Queens 26, Ngezi Queens 50; Platinum Queens 38, Goldreef 31; Flow Angels 27, Correctional Queens 56; Greenfuel Angels 33, ZDF 66, Green Buffaloes 32, Tenax 52.