Gunners, NCS meet in potential title decider

By Michael Uugwanga

TWO of the favourites for the 2022 MTC Namibia Netball Premier League (MTC NNPL), Mighty Gunners netball club from Otjiwarongo and Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) all came away with wins over the past weekend ahead of their showdown scheduled for April 23 in Otjiwarongo.

Even though the match between the two sides will be played in the first round of the league, this encounter could still be defined as an early potential title decider.

The MTC NNPL consists of 12 clubs, with the bottom three teams to be relegated at the end of the season.

There will be no MTC NNP matches for the next two weeks until April 23.

Gunners and NCS finished in the top two last season, with NCS winning the title on the last day against Tigers.

This season NCS remains first on the log with 12 points from six matches played, followed by Gunners in second placed with 10 points from five matches.

In Walvis Bay, on April 1, NCS outclassed Eleven Arrows 43-20, before winning two more matches, against Navy in a 41-32 win on April 2 and rounding off with a 38-33 win against Blue Waters the following day.

In Oshakati, Gunners produced a top class performance against Young Stars whom they beat 66-30, before they smashed bottom side Northern Fly Ballers netball club by a record 81-30.

Another team that is very much in the title race is unbeaten and newly promoted side Otjozondjupa NamPol netball club also on 10 points from five matches.

NCS are coached by Manuel ‘Mansie’ Tjivera the country’s most decorated mentor, having won multiple titles with University of Namibia (UNAM) in the Khomas Netball League, while Gunners are being coached by the evergreen Hilma Ndapewa Dawid.

The two coaches have said that they are looking forward to the upcoming match which could have a big bearing on the title race.

Gunners will head into the match as the home team and coach Dawid said that their aim this season is to win the title that slipped away from them on the last day of last season.

Gunners team consists of top shooter Ehrenfrieda ‘Gola’ Uahongora who happens to be the number one shooter with 121 goals from 136 attempts, while former Desert Jewelz shooter Jatjinda Toetsi Kambatuka is the fourth shooter in the league with 49 goals from 58 attempts.

Other players that have been impressive for Gunners are centre Uahengisa Tjozongoro and Bertha Hamukwaya who plays in the goalkeeper department.

“NCS won the title on goal difference as we both ended on the same number of points that is why this season our aim is to score as many goals as possible.

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We are ready for them.

“We are taking it one game at a time.

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This is a marathon league … and yes, the one that loses this match could lose ground in the title race,” said Dawid.

NCS comprises of arguably the best deadliest partnership upfront in Luise ‘Dreamy’ Kauseue and Irlyn Pura, while players like Tjeripo ‘Che Che’, Kambirongo, Tjimbakavaza ‘Tjimba’ Tjipetekera and  Jehumba ‘Tata’ Hambira make up the team.

Captain Frieda Indongo is one player that knows how to calm the game when under pressure.

“It is one of the league games that needs to be played. We will go out there to play netball. We are looking at scoring as many goals as them (Gunners) because both teams have a similar mindset.

“The losing team will recover, but at the end of the day the best team will win,” said Tjivera.

The dark-horse in the title race, Otjozondjupa NamPol will take on NCS on April 24.

Below are other results played last weekend:

Walvis Bay and Oshakati, April 2

Eleven Arrows 28-44 Afrocat Lions, Blue Waters 27-44 Tigers, Rebels 35-41 Otjozondjupa NamPol and Grootfontein 29-41 Northern Fly Ballers

April 3

Eleven Arrows 30-40 Tigers, Navy 46-41 Afrocat LionsYoung Stars 31-52 Otjozondjupa NamPol and Rebels 55-19 Grootfontein.