Gamecocks target strong finish

BULAWAYO - As the Castle Premiership season draws towards the end, Chicken Inn are now hoping for a strong finish that can see them sneak into the top four.

The Bulawayo-based side have had a topsy-turvy season and at times flirted with relegation but coach Joey Antipas has been able to steer the ship to calm waters in recent weeks.

At the weekend, a Bheki Ncube brace ensured the Gamecocks a 2-0 win over struggling Black Rhinos at Hartsfield Rugby Ground on Sunday.

With that win, Chicken Inn moved to seventh place on the log with 37 points from 25 matches.

With five matches to go before the season ends, the Gamecocks find themselves just two points away from fourth-placed Highlanders on 39 points.

A top four finish also guarantees participation in the Mbada Diamonds Cup which will be played at the end of the league programme.

Last season, Chicken Inn finished in sixth place with 44 points and club treasurer Mlungisi Moyo is confident the side can better that finish from last season.

“All we expect the team to do is improve from what they did last season. We can’t be always going down,” Moyo told the Daily News.

“We are already a force to reckon with in the Premiership and as such we must also set targets for ourselves.

“The other year we came third, from there we dropped to sixth position and we are saying we don’t want to be changing positions going downwards instead we must improve and if we can’t then let’s maintain our position.

“All we want from the team are 44points or better that is very possible with five matches to go. All it means is they have 15 points in their plate and all we want is half those points.”

Speaking after the win over Rhinos, Antipas said their focus in the remaining five matches was to collect maximum points.

“I’m happy with the win, it takes pressure off us. The players showed some character and determination in the first half though we took the foot off the pedal in the second half,” said the former Zimbabwe national team assistant coach.

“The boys are determined and the results are coming. We need to stay focused take each game as it comes. The moral is high in camp and we will fight to gain as much points as we can.”

With the league action set to take a break this weekend, the Gamecocks will resume their campaign with the Bulawayo derby against under-performing city rivals Highlanders.

With a top-four place up for grabs in this encounter, both teams will looking for maximum points.

Chicken Inn round up their season with matches against Triangle, FC Platinum, Buffaloes and Harare City.