Shelly Guni, Sports Reporter
…as Platinum end their unbeaten run
ZDF Queens coach Joel Sibanda broke down in tears at the Harare Metropolitan Police after seeing his side’s unbeaten run come to a crushing end following a 39-40 defeat at the hands of youthful Platinum Queens on Saturday.
Sibanda cast a devastated figure on the sidelines of the court as it became apparent that victory was no longer certain towards the end of this nail-biting encounter.
Prior to the game the ZDF coach had spoken of his desire to go the whole season unbeaten having won all their 16 matches until Saturday’s match against Platinum Queens.
But that dream is now over as Platinum had other ideas which saw Sibanda cry his heart out at the final whistle and could be seen fighting back tears as he fielded questions.
It therefore means there will be no invincible season for ZDF Queens which is also likely to bring an interesting race in the Rainbow Amateur Netball League.
“It was a great game unfortunately we lost narrowly to our visitors, congratulations to them,” Sibanda to H-Metro.
“We made one or two mistakes that costed us but I just call on professionalism when it comes to officiating.”
Sibanda believes his side will improve in the next games.
“We have a number of first round games that we are going to play without our mid-season signings. Today’s game was one of them and it was a wakeup call. We have seen where we need to work on and improve on that.
“We are fighters, we continue fighting until the last whistle. What I know is we will make it.”
Platinum Queens coach Simbarashe Mlambo, who is coming from a crucial win against Ngezi Queens last week, could not hide his joy as he went on to give credit to his players for a superb performance.
“It was a tricky tie. It was a very tough game. We needed to do everything in our power to make sure that we get the two points.
“It’s not a small achievement ZDF is a big team they were gunning for those two points. I think that kind of competition is very healthy for any coach.
“And if you win, whether home or away it’s very positive,” he said.
Last season Platinum Queens defeated ZDF in Zvishavane while going on to settle for a draw in a return fixture that was played at Raylton Sports Club.
“It was a morale booster for us and if we are to maintain our third position from last season and even try to better that, this will go a long way to achieve that dream.”
“We obviously wanted a win.”
“Netball is very fast and umpires, being humans, are bound to make mistakes so we need to stay calm and not be emotional and try to stick to our game plan,” he said.
Platinum are now on fourth position on the log with 34 points, two points ahead of ZDF who remain on 32 points after 17 games.
Player of the match was awarded to Platinum’s Goal-Attack Progress Moyo. And the match was officiated by Nozipho Mpofu and Agnes Chiroodza.