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MBABANE – “I am caught between a rock and a hard surface.”

MTN Premier League defending champions Royal Leopard are holding the keys to this season’s champions. They play leaders Green Mamba who need just a point, meaning no defeat for them or they could lose it right at the death, as second-placed Young Buffaloes are only three points behind as the league wraps up tomorrow. One of the two sides will be crowned champions and Buffaloes have already been successful in winning the first round leaders’ incentive of E100 000. The latter play Tambankulu Callies, who for two seasons have not beaten in Tambankulu, but played draws.


Quoted above is Leopard’s veteran Public Relations Officer (PRO) Frank Hurube, who emotionally spoke about the title run-in yesterday morning during the national radio Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) Sports Show, hosted by popular presenter Nathi ‘Mdockies’ Hlophe.
“It’s a tough one for me and my team. Both the title racing teams want the same thing and I am playing one of them. I find myself caught between two rocks. In the end, we will play Green Mamba and I must say it clearly that whoever we give it to, we must also be satisfied that we didn’t give it on a silver platter but they took it amid our fight,” Hurube said.He said there would be compromise under the circumstances, but fair play would prevail which means Leopard will be all out to finish the season in grand style too, but it is their rivals Green Mamba who need the red carpet finish after being frontrunners for the longest, since after a few games in the second round.


Green Mamba, coached by soft-spoken Ernest Mavuso have 58 points at the summit to Buffaloes’ 55 but a defeat for the former and a win for the latter will be costly to the leaders. Buffaloes will be crowned champions on head-to-head advantaged having won the first round 3-1 match against Green Mamba. Leopard, as defending champions will surrender the title to either side. If Green Mamba win it, this will be their third league title while Buffaloes are going for their second. Leopard go into the match motivated after a 4-2 win over Mbabane Swallows last week, while Green Mamba also grinded a 2-1 win against Denver Sundowns and also beat Leopard 2-0 in the reverse fixture.  “I have to give them this thing with trust and I must be happy with the people who I am going to give this prized asset to,” Hurube said. He prayed to God to help him as he was about to give the deserving side the important trophy, which he won last season.


There are two people in front of me, when I look at them, both are in search of something and here I am in the middle with the thing they want. I might say to the other yebabe (man) take here and to the other one say you won’t get anything” he joked. He then apologised to Green Mamba’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mandla Sibiya for going into the derby clash with the same mentality as them, to win like they approach every other game, especially to protect their brand. “We have a name to protect and we have a tag around our necks as a team. We want points as we want to finish in a respectable position,” he said as Leopard look set to finish on the fifth spot.

Former Mhlume Peacemakers’ PRO Bheka Magagula gave it to Buffaloes, saying their opponents Callies, had nothing to play for anymore while Green Mamba had tough opponents in a derby match. Meanwhile, Green Mamba’s Sibiya said everyone ‘slept at night and that is when we will steal the key to the title from Hurube’, after the later had said he held the key to the Holy grail of local football. Sibiya declared that they were not about giving it up to anybody other than lifting the trophy after the final whistle as Green Mamba.

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