Matione Primary run riot at NAPH provincials
• Wins Under 14 Soccer; Under 14 rugby

Fungayi Munyoro-Chingaira

MUTARE – Matione Primary School in Chipinge has won both the National Association of Primary Schools (NAPH) under -14 provincial rugby and the Soccer tournaments held in Mutare on Thursday last week.
Matione’s valiant performance in the two tournaments was a good advert for Chipinge district.
Rugby games were played at Chancellor Primary School while soccer games were hosted by Zamba Primary School.
In rugby, Matione dominated from the start and emerged with an unbeaten record.
Murambinda A (Buhera), Mutare Junior School (Mutare), Mabvazuva (Makoni), Sahumani (Mutasa) and Chimanimani Junior School (Chimanimani) took part in the tournament.

Matione was in Pool B together with Makoni and Chimanimani.
Matione dismissed Makoni 19-0 before thumping Chimanimani 49-0 to book a place in the semis with Mutare which they beat 12-0.
Matione outplayed Buhera 15-0 after maintaining an unbeaten record from the start.
Not only did Matione win the tournament, their player Kelly Sithole got an individual award for being man of the tournament.

Sadly, for all their superb performance, Matione is not proceeding to the national finals since the discipline is not included due to lack of sponsorship.
Coach Diana Maparara said NAPH sponsors must also consider rugby.

“It’s so sad after all our hard work that there are no national finals because there is no sponsorship. Many sponsors are only interested in disciplines like netball and soccer.
“It robs our players a chance to be selected at national level. Since the introduction of the sport in 2015, we have produced a number of players who have represented the country at the COSASA games in Namibia. We have Shepherd Mapanga who got a scholarship to Prince Edward School in Harare. We are doing well as a school,” said Maparara.

Team captain Obvious Munyere weighed in and said, “I think with sponsorship we can go a long way. NAPH must work it out and find a sponsor at national level so that we may be exposed at the highest level. I’m looking forward to playing rugby at international level,” said Munyere.
Maparara thanked the school authority for helping her team to travel and partake in the tournament.
However, it’s a different story altogether for Matione Soccer team. The team will be representing the province at the NAPH finals in Bulawayo. The games are slated for a later date.

Matione came tops after beating Mutasa 2-0 in the finals. Matione was in Pool B with Chimanimani and Makoni. On their way to the finals, Matione beat Chimanimani 3-0 before they suffered a 1-0 at the hands of Makoni to secure a second position.

In the semi-finals, Matione drew 0-0 with Mutare before going for the penalty shootout where Matione dismissed Mutare 5-3 and booked a berth in the finals with Mutasa.
The final was a thriller with both goals coming from captain Brendon Mlambo.
“It was great to win away from home. We have to remain focused as we prepare for the national finals,” said Mlambo who is a Highlanders and Manchester City supporter.

Coach Shadreck Mhlanga applauded NAPH for a good vetting system.
“The games were very fair in terms of the vetting system. The vetting was done well and we were satisfied that every team fielded a good age group. We hope they will maintain the same standard as we go for the national finals,” said Mhlanga.

Mhlanga said he is looking forward to be crowned at the national finals. The team also started their training today (Monday).
“My target is to lift the trophy and proceed to represent the country in Namibia. We will prepare very hard with the short time left. The good thing we are also allowed by the organizers of the tournament to pick up one or two players from other schools. I managed to identify four players who will join us this afternoon for training from Makoni, Mutasa and Mutare,” said Mhlanga.

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