Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
IT was party time at Ngezi Platinum Mine as their football team became the first Division One side to earn the ticket for next year’s Premiership after claiming the Northern Region championship in style over the weekend. The platinum miners’ 1-0 victory over Blue Swallows at Manyame handed them the title with six games to spare.
There are four regional leagues with the winners of the East, Central Northern and Southern Division One league earning the right to play top-flight football.
While other leagues look set to go to the wire, Ngezi ensured that their dominance in the Northern Region would yield the championship title with six more games in hand. Their win over Blue Swallows on Saturday saw them taking their tally to 65 points, opening an unassailable lead, over the rest of the chasing pack.
Striker Evans Katema’s goal in the 42nd minute was all Ngezi needed to collect a full set of points and, with ZRP FC going down 1-0 to Starbill, it made life even easier for the miners as they completed their mission on Saturday.
ZRP FC, who dropped to third position after the weekend’s defeat and Black Rhinos, now second, have 46 points each and even if they win the remaining six games they will finish the season with 64 points.
Interestingly this was Ngezi’s second year in Division One and coach Clifton “Somalia’’ Kadurira told The Herald he was thrilled by their achievement.
“It was a long journey but my guys have been competing well. I think, like I said before, last season we were looking at acclimatising in the Northern Region and that’s when I just beefed up my team and then we came out tops.
Northern Region Results
Blue Swallows 0, Ngezi Platinum 1; Cargo Carriers 0, Herentals 0; DStv Rangers 0, Gunners 0; ZRP Morris 0, Black Rhinos 1; Starbill 1, ZRP FC 0; Zatex 3, Seven Flames 1; Blue Jets 0, Lake Harvest 0; DC Academy 1, Darwin 1; Karoi United 1, Mushowani 1.