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Rollers extinguish Magosi’s firepower

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Mochudi  Centre  Chiefs   seem to  be   in  trouble  especially  in  the  attack  department  following  the  departure   of  influential  striker Keaketswe ‘Mara’ Moloi.

The  Mascom Top 8 first  leg  semi  finals held in Francistown over the weekend exposed  Magosi’s depleted arsenal with the team now heavily  reliant  on the  likes  of  Lemponye FC  Tshireletso,  Tendai Nyumasi  and  the  experienced  Onalethata  Tshekiso.

However,  the  lack  of  depth   in attack  at  Magosi  has  exposed  them  to  top  teir  rivals  Township Rollers. During the semi-final encounter, the evergreen Tshireletso came short of finding the back of the net while the groggy and misfiring Tshekiso continued with his poor form this season.

Nevertheless, Magosi who seem to be shy when it comes to spending on experienced players, are able to handle lesser competition easily. Against Rollers at the Francistown Sports Complex Magosi were moving at a pedestrian’s pace and   eventually became onlookers to the brilliance of Popa popa who are overloaded with talent.

Magosi’s frustration after the   Saturday game was telling as the players and the technical team were seething on their way back to the dressing rooms.
“I cannot talk to you now. Maybe later on, I am not happy,” said Magosi Captain Pontsho Moloi.

Even worse Magosi  will  have  to  come  back  from a  difficult 3-1 loss due to  damaging  away  goals. During the second leg, Maaparankwe  will have to score early and make sure they do not concede  any goals which is highly unlikely against a difficult  opponent like Rollers.

On the contrary, the glamorous MmaMasire Blues went on a spending spree this season. Some of the players acquired by  the team include Ofentse Nato,  former  beMOBILE  premier league  top  goal  scorer  Terence  Mandaza, Galabgwe  Moyana  and  Joel  Mogorosi. With  an  impressive  3-1  score line, Rollers  headcoach  Mark Harrison  knows  that  he  has  one  foot  in  the Top 8    final  where  he   will face  either  Orapa  United  or  BDF XI.

The   full  might  of Rollers  will  be  shown  in  the  second leg  scheduled  for  Francistown  next  month. The  venue  that  has  become  popular  with  football  nationwide  will  be  expecting  to  see Rollers  finishing  off   their  rival  on  their  way  to  the  finals.

For Harrison the  second leg semi   will  not be  a daunting affair  unless Magosi  pull  an epic  upset. Most  of Harrison’s  roster consisting of the likes of Nato, Mandaza, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Galabgwe  Moyana, Sekhana  Koko, Kobamelo Kebaikanye and  Maano Ditshupo – has players good  enough  to  make  it  into  the  starting line  up.

Meanwhile, Chiefs  have  lodged  a protest  with  the   Player  status  committee  challeging  the  legality  of  Ofentse  Nato’s  presence  during  the Top  8 semi  finals.

According, to Magosi’s  spokesperson Clifford  Mogomotsi , Nato  who  joined  Rollers  in  the second  round  of  the  2015/16 beMOBILE  premier  league  season  was not  properly  register  according to  the  play  rules  and  regulations

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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