Saturday, May 15, 2021

Highlights and talking points from weekend fixtures

Women referees can cut it in the bePremiership

The highlight reel of week eight of the beMobile Premiership will be incomplete without a new story that was written at the SSKB Stadium this past weekend. In a historic moment, an all women referee ensemble took centre stage during the beMobile Premiership clash between BDF XI and Gilport Lions. Under the watchful eye of Lekgotla Johannes, the trio of match referee Julia Lekgowe, together with assistant referees Yvone Letota and Tshepiso Ramothogobeng made an all women officiating team in a beMobile Premiership game.  The ladies did not disgrace themselves and they discharged their duties well to show that women can cut it in officiating men’s game, if given time.     

Rollers lay a marker on the title race

Township Rollers continued their assault on the beMobile Premiership championship with a 9 ÔÇô 1 mauling of the struggling FC Satmos. In a ruthless display of intent, ‘Popa’ netted four times in the first half before adding five more goals in the second half against the hapless Selebi Phikwe outfit. Leading Rollers’ annihilation of FC Satmos was midfielder Segolame Boy, who netted four goals, with Joel Mogorosi helping himself to a brace and the trio of Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Motsholetsi Sikele and Maano Ditshupo netting a goal each. The win saw Mark Harrison’s charges, who are yet to lose a game this season, reclaim their place at the top of the league log, just less than 24 hours after Police had deposed them. While Rollers have been impressive, it is their next four fixtures which will test their title mettle to the limits. Next up for Popa will be Gaborone United, Extension Gunners, Miscellaneous and Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Should Harrison and his players come out of the next four fixtures unscathed, the bePremiership title will be theirs to lose.  

Has GU turned the corner?

After a torrid start that saw them win only one of their first five games, Gaborone United seem to have finally turned the corner. With ‘head coach’ Allen Gumbo and ‘coach’ Dragjilo Stanojlovic now jointly at the helm, ‘the Money Machine,’ have now won three games on the trot. The three consecutive 1 ÔÇô 0 wins have now seen the team move from the lowly 11th position they were in three matches back to sixth position as of this week and just six points off the table topping city rivals Township Rollers. However, the jury is still out on the GU joint coaches and should they win their next game against city rivals Popa, only then will they be considered a logical appointment.

Police XI bounce back, but has Gunners challenge been arrested?

After Gaborone United (GU) gate crashed their party last weekend, Police XI bounced back with a 1 ÔÇô 0 win over Extension Gunners. The win, which came courtesy of Tapiwa Gadibolae’s boot, ensured “the Jungle Kings,’ got their title challenge back on track while piling more woes onto the troubled Extension Gunners. For ‘Mapantsola,’ the 1 ÔÇô 0 loss means they have now gone four consecutive games without a win. After a whirlwind start to the season that saw them top the League standings for 4 weeks, wheels seems to have come off the Peleng outfit’s wagon. With Coach Keitumetse Pio Paul now suspended and looking to be on his way out of the club, can Extension Gunners still turn the corner and put their challenge back on track? Only time will tell. 

Are Orapa United and BDF XI title contenders?

Orapa United continued to show that their second place finish in last season’s beMobile Premier League is no fluke. The Orapa club, which is drilled by Madinda Ndlovu, currently sits fourth on the log, having won 5 games, drawn two and lost one game. While ‘The Ostriches,’ who are currently just three points off the log leaders, have turned their home ground Itekeng Stadium into a fortress, questions have been asked on whether they can take their home form with them on the road. According to analysts, should they do as such, they will transform into real title contenders. Another team which seems on the upwards trajectory is BDF XI. After a baptism of fire at the hands of Rollers, the army club has bounced back and is now third on the league log. However, with the club yet to face other title contenders like GU, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Police XI, the jury will still be out on their title challenge credentials and only the army outfit can answer. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper