HOW Mine shrugged of challenge from former premiership side Bantu Rovers and ZPC Hwange to win the sole ticket to gain promotion from the Zifa Southern Region Division One League into the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League next year.
The gold mining team won the slot for a maiden appearance in the Premiership after beating Black Boots 1-0 at Fairbridge on Saturday to end the season perched on 65 points from 32 games.
Bantu Rovers were favourites to win the championship but faltered when it mattered most, losing 1-0 to Rufaro Rovers on the same day to end on position three with 63 points from 32 games.
ZPC Hwange thumped Projects 10-0 but the victory was not enough as ZPC finished second with 64 points from the same number of games.
How Mine chairman Mlondolozi Nkomo was ecstatic over gaining promotion yesterday.
“We are very excited that we will be playing in the Premiership next season. We have been successful because of the support that we got from the management.
“The supporters have also been with us throughout and without their support we would not have achieved this feat,” he said.
“The coaches have also worked hard in building a strong team that has won promotion for us. It is also by God’s grace that we have gained promotion because no-one thought that we would be able to qualify.”
The race for promotion was intense with How Mine, ZPC Hwange and Bantu Rovers inter-changing the top slot for months.
“The management stood by the team all the time with material and emotional support.
“Even though we suffered setbacks when we lost to Sizani Fruits & Veg and drew with Rufaro Rovers recently, there was team spirit and unity.
“We kept our heads high and that helped us,” he said.
Nkomo said they would convene and map the way forward.
“Our objective was to win promotion and we are celebrating because we have achieved that. We are then going to sit down as a team and see where we go from here,” he said.
How Mine have in their ranks Stephen Sibanda, Simba Sithole, Donald Chiringa, Emmanuel Sibanda, Samuel Naitala and goalkeeper Nonjabulo Dube.
How Mine join Triangle from the Eastern Region, Tripple B from the Central Region and Black Rhinos from the Northern Region.