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It is surely not for the faint-hearted. That is the intriguing MTN Premier League title race, which continues to produce mixed emotions among football followers week in and week out.

In a situation that can be aptly put ‘the bigger they come the harder they fall’, giants Mbabane Highlanders and Manzini Wanderers crumbled in their respective  fixtures at King Sobhuza II Stadium in Nhlangano on Sunday. Title chasing Highlanders huffed and puffed before they went down against the predominately youthful Moneni Pirates, while struggling Wanderers were put to the sword by Premier League returnees, Manzini Sea Birds.

To say there is trouble at Wanderers camp would be an understatement but it does not require one to be a prophet to deduce that all is not well at the once mighty ‘Weslians’, and I can imagine the agony their hordes of supporters are going through. However, that’s a subject for another day. My focus is on the title race where rampaging Green Mamba have opened an eight-point lead ahead of second placed Highlanders.

After recording a hard-fought win against resilient Sea Birds the previous week, Highlanders were expected to collect another three points against unpredictable Pirates, but as fate finally had it, they failed to gore the Moneni Buccaneers.


Green Mamba, having recorded a win against Tambuti on Saturday, are now E350 000 richer after winning the first round incentive, with two games to spare.
As things turned out, the other teams have to demonstrate a high level of determination if they harbour any chance of catching up with the venomous Green Mamba.

The latter, who are seemingly riding the crest of the wave, are consistently winning their games - and crucially so.
The Celeb Ngwenya-led charges’ two-game slump seems to have done not much damage in their title aspirations, and it waits to be seen if they will hold on to the bitter end. Interestingly, the other teams failed to take advantage of Mamba’s slump, something which speaks volumes about their title credentials. Could this be the year of glory for the Correctional Services side? Only time will tell!

Premier League returnees Mhlume Peacemakers, who are trading as Matsapha United, are surely facing an uphill task.
Despite recording a resounding victory against fellow basement side, Mbabane Citizens, the sugar belt side is yet to convince us that they can sustain their elite league status.

They continue to languish in the relegation quagmire, lying three points adrift 13th-placed Citizens. Can they turn the tables and move out of danger before the curtains fall in May? A question it remains!

Comfort Jele

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