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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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Heelang, hands off journalists!



In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy




Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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