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Nail-biting First Division battle returns

PALAPYE: The unrelenting Debswana First Division North battle returns to the rugged turfs after taking a breather during the Easter holiday.

With three fixtures left, the league was blown wide open into a four-horse race before the break. Motlakase Power Dynamos, Morupule Wanderers and Sua Flamingoes are on BR Highlanders’ coattails and any team can clinch it.

 Motlakase have cut the deficit to three points. Wanderers and Flamingoes are four points adrift and a full weekend programme can alter the standings.

Highlanders are seemingly imploding, dropping seven points in five fixtures. 

This weekend they are home to Francistown City Greens and they cannot afford another slip. The encounter promises sparks as City Greens are battling relegation while the hosts will want to cling into their vulnerable top position.

City Greens have moved a position out of the red zone and would be looking to continue their incline up the ladder.

The three chasers also need nothing less than maximum points this weekend to boost their fight as the league wear to the wire. The relentless chasing trio is on a four-game unbeaten run. Second-placed Motlakase face a tricky encounter against a stubborn Real Movers in Selebi-Phikwe. Movers are also in a mud battle and might prove a tough customer. Motlakase overcame Movers by 2-0 in Palapye in their previous fixture. The decisive fixture for a battle of at least the consolation play-off spot is between Wanderers and Flamingoes in Pilikwe, a battle between third and fourth.A defeat for

either could mark the end of their chase, and a draw will derail both sides. Flamingoes humbled Wanderers 3-0 in Sowa Town and the Palapye side could serve their opponents a cold revenge at their Pilikwe fortress.

Their last meeting at the ground was bloody and ended in the boardroom.

At the bottom, relegated Maphatshwa will see who drops along to Division One amongst Movers, City Greens, Hotspurs, GNT and Calendar Stars who are separated by four points.

Stars could do themselves a favour with a win against Hotspurs. GNT could do likewise with a triumph against a hapless Maphatshwa. Former Premiership sides that joined the First Division fray this season, Nico United and Green Lovers will be engaged in an inconsequential mid-table battle. In the south, highflying Notwane need just a point from six to confirm their return to the Premiership.

Nearest rivals Prisons XI are six points adrift with two fixtures left. Sechaba also command a healthy goal difference.

However, Pio Paul’s charges and their ever-jovial supporters would have to hold on to their champagne bottles until next weekend when the league comes back into full swing.This weekend only Black Rangers and Red Sparks are in action.  League secretary general, Sidney Magagane said they intend to clear backlog fixtures in order to ensure that all teams finish the season at the same time.




DPP Botswana

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