With the second round of the netball league starting today at Namboole Stadium, teams have been treated to unpredictable competition in the first round that ended on Wednesday. Score brings you takeaways from the first round.
NIC remains the league’s gold standard
NIC has been unstoppable in its quest, winning all the seven fixtures in the first round. The 19-times champions have shown very few weaknesses and vulnerabilities sweeping the first round.
Credit goes to She Cranes stars in shooters Rachael Nanyonga and Stella Oyella with midcourter Ruth Meeme who were key in the team’s excellent performance.
While NIC seems to be in a class of its own, coach Vincent Kiwanuka believes the path to the throne is filled with obstacles.
“The rest of the teams including second placed KCCA still have time to make the necessary adjustments and catch –up, so we should not relax,”
KCCA exciting to watch
From exciting wins, promising youngsters showing their expertise and being the only team to give star studded NIC a hard time, though they lost to the insurance side 40-37, KCCA has been entertaining in the first round.
The team has had a good defence comprising of Shaffie Nalwanja, Jesca Nakamya, Fauzia Nakibuule and Wycline Natweta who usually run at a breakneck speed creating more chances for attackers, hence more goals from the shooting combination of Irene Eyaru and Sumini Nabatanzi.
KCCA won six of the seven fixtures in the first round to emerge second on the log.
Defending champions Prisons have continued to make a strong case to the top but still need to check their line-up.
With center Halima Nakachwa and shooter Stella Oyella quitting, coach Imelda Nyongesa’s season has been a tough one with more absentees including injury stricken captain and defender Lilian Ajio and center Hadija Nakabuye. The later expecting.
The new and promising players in shooters Alicia Wesagali and Joyce Nakibuule, defender Tausi Mumena have not been in form. On various occasions, Nyongesa has tried all the players on their line-up but all in vain. For the first time in over five years, the wardens have lost three of the seven fixtures to NIC, KCCA and UPDF.
This has lowered their chances of defending this year’s trophy. However Nyongesa believes the second round will be better.
“We have gone back to the drawing board, realised our weaknesses and hope for better results,” she said.
The resurgence of UPDF
Recent years have not been great for UPDF Netball Club. But winning fixtures against Prisons-the defending champions, Police, Makindye Division and Posta portrayed a great improvement and showed that they can still perform when it matters.
Bottom teams better than their records show.
Save for Posta that is yet to win a game in the league, bottom teams including newly promoted Makindye Netball Club, Police and UCU have registered dismal win-loss cards but have shown flashes of brilliance early in the season.
Police’s attackers in Aisha Nalumansi, Alice Nakayote, Enid Abalo have been unstoppable hence giving the opponents’ defence a hard time. The team has won three fixtures to gather six points.
UCU has also impressed through their towering young shooter Hanisha Muhammad whose shooting prowess and accuracy has left many in admiration.
Meanhwile, Makindye has been a stop away from winning their first four games but they found themselves into a losing streak.
They vented their frustration by demolishing Posta 58-33 for their breakthrough win, the team narrowly lost 44-43 to KCCA and coach Jesse Asiimwe believes the second round will be better on their side because the players are now used to the super league.
“In the first round, players have had a lot of lessons, the second round will see a stronger and composed squad. I also expect more wins,” he said.
Second round fixtures
Police vs. KCCA
UCU vs. Prisons
Makindye vs. NIC
Posta vs. UPDF
UCU vs. Police
Makindye vs. Posta
Prisons vs. KCCA
UPDF vs. NIC