Eastern Region Division One Football side Manica Diamond moved a step closer to Premiership promotion after edging rivals Buffaloes at the weekend to open a 13-point gap at the top of the log standings.
By Kenneth Nyangani
The ambitious side made their intention very clear from the start when they splashed resources to acquire some of the top players and best brains around as they bid to get promotion on their first attempt.
Highly-rated coach Luke Masomere leads the charges at the well-resourced side, and they have been winning their matches convincingly since the start of the season, and as it stands, they are well on course of winning the championship, which comes with it playing in the top flight next season.
At the weekend, they defeated former Premiership side Buffaloes 1-0 at Vengere Stadium in Rusape, a victory that saw them opening a comfortable 13-point gap at the top of the log.
Former Gunners and Chicken Inn striker Ishmael Lawe scored the solitary important goal.
Manica had defeated the same side 2-0 the previous weekend in the reverse fixture. Buffaloes are one of the title contenders, and are fourth on the log standings in a league that began the second round last week.
Although the gap between Manica Diamond and the rest of the pack continues to increase with each passing week, Buffaloes, who were relegated from the Premier Soccer League two seasons ago, are still hopeful of catching up with the runaway log leaders.
“We have just started the second half of the season, so there is no reason to panic. We are aware that it will be difficult to cancel the 16 point lead gap by Manica Diamonds, but we will do all what it takes to close it,” Buffaloes chairman Tendai Chitowa said.
Masomere’s men are undefeated in their last 16 matches and have 44 points, while Tenax have 31.
Manica’s closest rivals Tenax, who are owned by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services side, were held to a 1-1 draw by Gaza Gunners at the weekend.
Marondera-based side Surrey are a third with 29 points, while Green Fuel who started the season well, have lost steam in recent times and have slipped down to fifth position with 27 points.