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Closely fought race rumbles past the halfway point

KABELO BORANABI
Half way through: Orapa United lead the league with 15 games left
For the first time in years, the battle for the BTC Premiership title is closely fought, with usual suspects, Township Rollers, finding it tough than in recent seasons. Teams will this weekend, start the last lap of what should be an exciting conclusion to the season, writes Mmegi Sport Correspondent, KABELO BORANABI

Foursome battle for the title

Holders, Township Rollers are not having a smooth ride to their 17th league title. Rollers are fourth, six points behind leaders, Orapa United. On the other hand, Security Systems and Jwaneng Galaxy sit second and third respectively.

Under Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote, United would feel this could finally be their year. Mpote is the only local coach to win the league in the last decade. The Ostriches are unbeaten in 13 games, whilst boasting the best defensive and scoring records, as they look on course to their first ever league title.

Systems are just a point behind United. The team had a blistering start to the campaign, but defeats at Gaborone United (GU) and Galaxy in recent games, halted their progress and saw them dethroned from top spot.

The Alarm Boys do not have the enticing armoury like other challengers, but know how to knick the results.

Galaxy on the other hand, are level with Rollers on 18 points and both sides have a game in hand. Miguel da Costa, in his first season at Jwaneng came second, to Popa, and would be hoping to go a spot better this season.

His side has only lost to United and Rollers in this campaign. At Rollers, a technical team change could affect the team’s push for their fifth consecutive title. Despite their league position, Popa have been rather inconsistent and with a new coach to be appointed, the team might see this one slip.

 

A new face in the Top 8?

Minnows, BR Highlanders and Prisons XI find themselves inside the top eight in positions six and seven, respectively. There has been a tradition of a new top eight entrant almost every season, and this time it could be two.

Highlanders are level on 24 points with fifth placed GU while

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Prisons XI are just five points behind. As the two teams sit comfortably inside the desirable positions, Police XI are on a course to gate crash the party.

The Jungle Kings sit ninth with 18 points, level with BDF XI who occupy position eight. Both sides have had a fair share of inconsistency in form as Morupule Wanderers watch from 10th spot, just five points behind the pair.

 

Fierce battle at the bottom

The axe looks more menacing as six teams are engulfed in a battle to avoid the dreaded chop.  Miscellaneous are at the root of the log with just six points. Tse Nala are on a nine game losing streak and look headed to the dusty grounds. Molepolole City Stars are just a place above, despite a decent start the team has seen a dip in form, while Notwane occupy the last relegation spot level on points with Stars. Both teams’ performance in the market can help their course, as Toronto are linked with a number of players early in to the transfer window.

Veteran tactician, Stanley Mwaanga has been tasked with saving TAFIC’s season but he faces an uphill battle with a demoralised squad that last tasted victory in October 2019. TAFIC are on 11 points, level with Gilport Lions and Extension Gunners. The Gillies have found a bit of form as the three of their season’s wins came from the last five games while Gunners are moving against the traffic as boardroom issues continue to have an effect on the field. It could be Gunners’ time to bite the dust with City Stars’ chances of surviving looking very slim. Notwane, Lions and TAFIC may be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat and keep their places in the elite league.



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