MIGHTY Gunners have seized control of the MTC Netball Premiership following two victories at Walvis Bay over the weekend.
The title-chasing Otjiwarongo outfit were in uncompromising mood on Saturday when they brushed aside Golden Girls 61-26, before edging a hard-fought battle against the Namibian Navy 49-47 on Sunday.
One of only two unbeaten sides in the debut domestic top-flight season, Gunners leapfrogged Tigers, who have led since the start of the season, to occupy top spot .
The sharp-shooting Gunners were third at the start of play on Saturday, but now lead the race for honours by two points, having amassed maximum points from their eight matches.
After seeing off title rivals Tigers and the Navy, Gunners next meet the Namibia Correctional Services (NCS), the only other team yet to experience the bitter taste of defeat, on Saturday at Grootfontein, which is effectively their second home turf.
Gunners will be favourite and on a high after last weekend’s performances, given that NCS, who have played a match less, managed only a draw against the Navy.
Maintaining their winning run and standard of play has been challenging, said Gunners captain Gola Uahongora.
“Due to Covid regulations, we did not even train at all. But ever since we started training [again] , we’ve pushed very hard. We’re happy with the results,” she said.
It was the second defeat of the campaign for the Navy, who cruised to a comfortable 60-36 over Eleven Arrows on Saturday.
Navy coach Charlane Minaar also said the fitness was an issue at the moment given the long Covid-19 induced lay-off and that her team will bounce back over the coming matches.
They face bottom side Rundu Chiefs on Saturday and second last Dollar Stars the day after.
“I think the ladies are giving their best under the pressure. We’re trying to put in more fitness sessions, like two times per day,” Minaar said.
“Even mentally, it’s putting a lot of pressure on the players. This is the premier league, and all these matches they are playing, it’s pressure because all the teams that are in the premier league are good teams,” she added.
“We are just encouraging them to go out there and play their game, because not everybody is fit at this moment.
“I told my players that you have been signed to this team because you are a good player. You are also a player in the premier league, which already tells you a lot. So, go out there and enjoy the game,” said Minaar.
Second-placed Tigers will look to get back to winning ways after their 37-38 loss to Mighty Gunners last time out. They face relegation-wary Young Stars on Saturday. Young Stars, who lie eighth just a point above the drop zone, then face third last United 12 the following day.
NCS can move from third to top of the pile with positive results against Gunners and Grootfontein on Sunday.
Saturday’s other action sees hosts Grootfontein entertaining United 12, while Dollar Stars open the action against seventh-placed Arrows before closing down proceedings by battling Rundu Chiefs.
Rebels in fourth spot have a date with Arrows on Sunday.