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Township Rollers thump hapless Orapa United to be crowned the 2018 Mascom Top 8 champions



Defensive shambles and lack of creativity and commitment conspired to render Orapa United toothless as Township Rollers emphatically thumped them 4-2 in the Mascom Top 8 final duel played at the Francistown Sport Complex on Saturday afternoon.


There was no stopping Rollers as they bolted early towards their second Top 8 crown having won the inauguaral edition back in 2012. Rollers were playing their fifth finsl of the tournament that has spanned seven seasons.


Rollers’ statement of intent was made as early as the 10th minute when they scored their first goal through a strike from Lemponye Tshireletso with Edwin Moalosi scoring the second goal only 10 minutes later to make it 2-0 at recess. Rollers would continue where they had left off in the second half, taking advantage of Orapa United’s sustained defensive blunders to score their third goal in the 56th minute through Bogosi Nfila who had come from the bench in the 35th minute to replace the injured second goal scorer, Moalosi. Moalosi would lare be reported to have suffered a broken arm although he was able to receive his medal with just a bandage on the affected arm.

Rollers made sure of the crown in the 65th minute when Kaone Vanderwesthuizen also came from the bench to score their fourth goal. At the time, it was all done and dusted and  the resultant temporary lapse on the Rollers’ side saw United pull back two goals through Omaatla Kebatho in the 71st minute and Onkabetse Makgantai in the 82nd minute. Desperate times had set in on the part of United with substitute Ronald Chikomo being sent off via a straight red card in the 80th minute after launching a dangerous tackle on Rollers’ goal keeper Keeagile Kgosipula.

It was a disappointing display from Orapa United whose usually raucous supporters were subdued for the entire match especially after Tshireletso’s goal. The supporters had earlier painted Francistown orange when in their several fully-loaded buses they traversed the city streets with song, dance and horn. They too should have been shocked by their team’s dismal performance that betrayed the hype and air of anticipation that had preceded the match. United looked disjointed and seemed to lack motivation and the drive for the crown of the most lucrative football competion in the country. 

From the bench, instructions were haphazard, coming from two coaches in head coach Bongani Mafu and his assistant Daniel Nare whose instructions seemed to add to the confusion on the pitch. Nare has over the earlier stages of the tournament presided as Orapa United coach until they reached the finals. Mafu only came in to take charge in Saturday’s final, prompting some fuming supporters to blame their loss on the changed coaching hands. Orapa United only started showing up after the introduction in the second half of Gift Moyo and Chikomo. Their entry into the match added pace and intent into their game and helped open up Rollers’ defence, leading to their two late consolation goals.

Mafu described their loss as “self-inflicted pain,” adding that his side was from the onset put under pressure by Rollers and never recovered. “They got off the mark very fast, they came at us, they pressed us high and they forced mistakes out of us,” the coach said after the match. “It is a learning curve, and with the squad that we have, the future looks bright,” Mafu said, adding that he was full of admiration for Chikomo’s attitude and wishing every player played like him. “He got that red card because he carried this game in his heart, he really wanted it badly but in the end it was a rough and dangerous tackle, and he deserved the red card.”

Captain Maano Ditshupo was crowned Man of the Match, winning himself P4000 while his club pocketed P1 300 000. Rollers jet off to Tanzania on Sunday for their Tuesday CAF Champions League encounter against Young Africans. 

TOWNSHIP ROLLERS: Keagile Kgosipula 23; Tshepo Motlhabankwe 8; Simisani Mathumo 5; Mosha Gaolaolwe 4; Galabgwe Moyana 10; Motsholetsi sikele 28; Ofentse Nato 20;  Maano Ditshupo 22; Segolame Boy 11; Lemponye Tshireletso 12; Edwin Moalosi 7    Reserves: Bogosi Mfila 9; Tshepo Matete 187; Ivan Ntege 15; Kaone Vanderwesthuizen 15; Gape Mohutsiwa 6; Thato Bolweleng 2; Mwampule Masule 1

ORAPA UNITED:  Mosimanegape Robert 1; Thabang Mosige 6; Olekantse Mambo 24; Kealeboga Molebatsi 28; Lesenya Ramoraka 44; Tapiwa Nyamanjiva 20; Baboloki Makhura 19;  Kobamelo Kebaikanye 11; Onkabetse Makgantai 14; Tendai Nyumasi 10; Omaatla Kebatho 13; Reserves:  Kaelo Joseph 31; Lemogang Maswena 18; Obonye Moswate 22; Patrick Lenyeletse 9; Gift Moyo 8; Kabo Mungabe 23;  Ronald Chikomo 7

REFEREE: Joshua Bondo




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Netball regresses



When successfully hosting of the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) this past year under the Tebogo Lebotse Sebego regime, Botswana netball team (Under 21) showcased a crème dela cream squad, boasting exceptional players such as Pearl Maribe, Sarona Hans, Florence Poane and Cheludo David, just to mention a few.

This left many people anticipating for a smooth transition to the senior team and continue with their impressive performances at elite stages. However, this has not been the case as the national team has been performing dismally, failing to book a spot at the 2018 Africa Netball World Cup back in August, which will be hosted in England, Liverpool next year.

Prior the 2018 Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers staged in Zambia, Botswana roped in a mentor from South Africa, Dorette Badenhorst who confidently said in an interview with Sun Sport before departing to Zambia with team, that the team was in good shape. The results, however did not show and the coach was gone.

In an interview with Sun Sport this week, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Theresa Hirchfeld explained why the international coach (Badenhorst) left immediately after the qualifiers, “We had no money to hire an international coach but we desperately needed one hence Spar came to our rescue to bring Dorette Badenhorst on board to help us specifically qualify for the 2019 Netball World Cup edition.

We had to part ways with her because we did not have funds to continue with her,” she explained. According to BONA PRO, the continued absence of the domestic league can be pointed as the main reason why the national team has not been performing well recently, “We do not have a league running at the moment, hence resorting to meeting only on weekends in preparation for important tournaments.

However, I think we did fairly well at the just ended Diamond Challenge tournament held in South Africa looking at the fact that we were not able to go with our full squad due to Police Department events that hindered the selection of players from the Police side,” said the BONA PRO.

The 2018 Diamond Challenge Netball tournament in South Africa, Limpopo was played by Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa’s president XII. The local team did not fare well as they lost most of the games they played, but only managed to salvage one consolation win.

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Knockout Football tournament returns



The thrills, spills and high stakes of knock out football have returned to the local scene following the announcement of the new Orange FA Cup.

The mobile telecommunication company announced a P12.6 million, three-year deal that will see over 30 teams competing for the first prize of P700 000.After years of FA cup drought since the much-loved Coca Cola cup, 48 teams from the BTC Premiership, Debswana National First Division (DNFD) and regions are expected to slug it out for honour and glory in the newly introduced tournament scheduled for 2019. Addressing members of the media and other football stakeholders in Gaborone this week, BFA President Maclean Letshwiti said sponsorship remains a challenge to local football and other sporting codes.

“I am excited that the regions will finally get a platform to have an event which they can look forward to, with the prospect of generating income,” Letshwiti said. “Sponsorship is key to football as this is how our industry can grow and change the lives of footballers. When we crafted this sponsorship, we wanted an arrangement that can assist regional teams.” Letshwiti said Orange Botswana is no stranger to football as the company has been in football before and they are currently proud sponsors of CAF.

“A platform like the FA Cup offers a great -opportunity for all our league and structure to be scouted and seen by national team coaches across the board. We also now get an opportunity to close the gap between our leagues and increase competition for participation or qualification into the cup.”

Speaking during the same occasion, the Orange Botswana Chief Executive Officer Dr Patrick Benon said the sponsorship will be approximately P4.2 million per football season for a total of three seasons.

“This initiative demonstrates Orange Botswana’s strategy to cultivate talent and support local sports development in line with previous sponsorships like the Kabelano Charity Cup, the Orange Phikwe National Marathon and also the official Zebras National team sponsorship ahead of the historic appearance at the AFCON finals in 2012,” he said. Through these sponsorships, Benon said they have realised the significance of sport activities beyond entertainment.

“It is also about uniting communities, strengthening relationships and supporting activities. The sponsorship by Orange will cover prize money, individual awards, team kits, tournament administration fees and travelling, to name a few.” The competitions will kick off with eight teams from both the DNFD north and south. The first round will also include 16 regional teams. The second round will include 16 winners from the first round and 16 BTC Premiership teams. The second round is expected to produce the last 16 teams who will proceed to the quarter finals.

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