HARARE – Absolom Rupiya’s second half strike was all Flame Lily needed as they moved to the top of the Zifa Northern Region Division One League after dismissing seasoned campaigners DStv Rangers 1-0 over the weekend.
The Zimbabwe Prison Service side took full advantage of former log leaders ZPC Kariba’s slump. The Kariba-based side succumbed to a 3-2 defeat in the hands of newly-promoted Mushowani Stars.
The win means that Ralph Kawondera’s charges are now on 35 points, two ahead of ZPC Kariba and Mushowani who are second tied on 32 points.
But despite assuming the top spot Kawondera remains modest.
“I don’t think we can start talk of the championship now,” Kawondera told Daily News yesterday.
“There is still a lot of work to be done. This is a marathon and we can only look at the positions at the end of the race.
“We need to stay focused and concentrate on our game. We are now under pressure because as the log leaders everyone would want to beat us. I am happy with the performance of the team.
“They are fighting for each other and we hope to continue with that spirit to the end. Every match that we engage in from now will be like a cup final. We want to collect as many points as we can to stay on that position.
Flame Lily, who now boast of some former Premiership players in their ranks, have bright chances of promotion into the premier league next season.
Veteran goalkeeper Edmore Hamandishe and former Dynamos defender Dominic Benati are some of the players who now turn-out for the prison side.
However, competition remains stiff in the league and it is promising to be a closely contested affair as all the top eight teams are in the reckoning for promotion into the top fight.
In other matches played over the weekend army side Commando Bullets bounced back to winning ways condemning former Premiership side Gunners to a 2-1 defeat. Commando remained unchanged on sixth place on the log with 28 points.
Twalumba also stayed on course after beating Starbill 2-0 to move to fourth place with 29 points. JMC Academy remain at the bottom of the log with five points and at the weekend they were beaten 2-1 by Newton Chitehwe’s DC Academy.
In Eastern Region, Moses Chunga’s Hippo Valley marched on with an easy win beating ZRP Masvingo 6-0 at Mucheke Stadium to maintain a 13-point lead at the top of the log.
Northern Region: JMC 1, DC 2; Forrester 1, Jumbo 2; Lake Harvest 1, Blue Rangers 1; Commando 2, Gunners 1; ZRP Morris 1, Power Master 0; Dstv Rangers 0, Flame Lily 1; Starbill 0, Twalumba 2; Mushowani 3, ZPC Kariba 2; Banket 1, Chegutu 2;
Eastern Region: Mkwasine 3, Renco Mine 0; Arcturus 0, Surrey 1; Tenax 4, Gaza Gunners 1; Rimbi Sunshine 1, Masvingo United 0; Green Masters 0, Mtare City 3; ZRP Masvingo 0, Hippo Valley 6; Mtare Poly 1, South Downs 0; Ruwa United 1, Mwenezana 0;
Central Region: Chapungu 1, Hwahwa 0; Gaths mine 2, FC Platinum (U19) 1; Midlands State University 1, Town United 1; Chrome Stars 3, NM Academy 0; Hardbody 3, Tripple B 0; Vumbachikwe 3, Gwanda Ramblers 0;
NB: All the teams with 3-0 score line were awarded points after their opponents failed to pay affiliation fees on time. The game between Jessie Mine and Kwekwe Pirates was also not played because of non-payment of affiliation fees by both clubs.