Title race wide open

SHARE   |   Monday, 25 April 2016   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
Title race wide open

The battle for the be-MOBILE Premier League championship has intensified following Tuesday’s judgment regarding Township Rollers and Gilport Lions case. The result of the case has thrown in the open the race for the league championship after the docking of three points and two goals from log leaders Township Rollers. This saw the lead being cut to a point ahead of second placed Orapa United with only two games remaining.  The race has become even more exciting since Mochudi Centre Chiefs, who were previously deemed out of the race, are now back in contention. As it stands following the judgment, Rollers are still at the top of the league with 61 points, Orapa United second with 60 points while Chiefs trail with 58 points.   An interesting end of the league is expected as Chiefs and Orapa United will be looking to fight to the end. Orapa United are looking at completing their mandate of winning silverware this season while Chiefs are trying to defend their title. The new development has given the two teams new hope that they can also win the league.

However, Rollers will be looking to win the league to prove a point to their opponents. The docking of points have not demoralised the team but rather given it a boost to work. To become champions Popa as Rollers are affectionally known to their followers need to win the two remaining games and end silverware drought. For any of the other contenders to win league, Rollers have to lose at least one game. It is going to be an interesting tussle as Rollers still have to play Orapa United in their final game. This could be the title decider game should both teams win their next fixture. All the three contenders are left with tough opposition that can threaten their efforts to win the league. Nonetheless they are all determined to fight until the final whistle. Rollers’ soft-spoken Rollers Coach Mark Harrison had always maintained that they take each game as it comes and it will only be after 30 games that a winner will be found. However, the coach has confidence on his players that they will continue to fight the way they have been since the start of the season. On the other hand, defending champions Centre Chiefs also still believe that they can hold on to the cup this season.  Chiefs’ spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi said they have not yet given up on the title as anything is possible. “We have been there. We know what can happen. This is a marathon and we are all running it; everyone has a chance,” said Mogomotsi.

The last two fixtures

Rollers: Left with Green Lovers and Orapa United
Orapa: Left with Gilport Lions and Rollers
Chiefs: Nico and Jwaneng Galaxy

Relegation battle

With bottom-placed FC Satmos already relegated together with BR Highlander the struggle remains for Motlakase Power Dynamos and Green Lovers. The two teams have 26 and 27 points respectively with chances of survival weighing the same for both at the moment. However chances look slimmer for Motlakase provided Green Lovers win all their games. This may prove to be a toll order for Green Lovers looking at the teams left for them. The team has to play Rollers, who are on a mission to win the league. This puts Lovers under great danger as Harrison’s charges will be looking for only a win when they take on the Serowe-based outfit. Lovers also have BDF XI on their way, another tough opponent looking to finish in top four. On the other hand, Motlakase Power Dynamos have to play Gaborone United (GU) and Extension Gunners. GU are looking to cement their Top 8 spot while Gunners are fighting to break into Top 8 spot. It is also going to be a mountain to climb for Motlakase as well.