Home » Sports » Bindura Rocks Divison One

SEVEN years after Mwana Africa were relegated from the Premiership, two clubs – Mushowani Stars and Bindura United – are leading the fight to bring back top-flight football to Mashonaland West province.Mwana Africa turned themselves into the toast of the province after winning the CBZ Cup, then the premier knockout football tournament in the country, after beating Chapungu 1-0 in the final at Rufaro with Benjamin Marere scoring the priceless goal.

The Bindura miners, under the guidance of Highlanders’ legend Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo, then went on an impressive run in the Caf Confederation Cup, the following year, reaching the final stage before the group phase where they ran into an unmovable barrier erected by TP Mazembe.

That year, 2007, Mwana Africa were relegated from the Premiership, bringing an end to Bindura’s two-year flirtation with Premiership football, after losing their final game 1-2 against Motor Action.

Black Rhinos and Hwange were also relegated that year but while the two teams have found their way back into the Premiership, with the coalminers even topping the top-flight table this week, Mashonaland Central is still waiting for another dance with the top-flight league.

Last year, Mushowani Stars gave the province hope when they were promoted into Division One but, after a promising start, they soon ran out of steam and ZPC Kariba triumphed and have gone on to make a big early impression in the Premiership where they are unbeaten.

This year, Bindura United, who had been a dormant franchise for years, also burst into Division One, a year after the club was revived as a Division Two team, storming run in the FORGOTTEN former Zifa Northern Region Division One outfit and then going for 25 games without defeat.

Interestingly, the two Mashonaland Central teams occupy first and third place on the World Navi Division One soccer league table with Mushowani Stars in pole position, unbeaten after the first six games, while Bindura United are in third place with just one loss in six starts.

Bindura United have returned to the fold after they were promoted from Divison Two A.The team was resuscitated last year after spending 11 years in the wilderness and managed to shake off the challenge of several other contenders to win the ticket to Division One convincingly.

These are early days, of course, but there is no doubt that the good start by the two Mashonaland Central teams has given football fans in the province hope that they could have a Premiership franchise next season.

Mushowani were away in Chegutu at the weekend where they needed a penalty to edge Chegutu Pirates 1-0 in a match marred by violence with the home team’s fans raining missiles onto the pitch, with one of the missiles hitting the assistant referee.

Former Lengthens coach Paul “Popopo” Chimalizeni is the man mandated with taking Mashowani into the Premiership and was scathing, in his criticism of the volatile Pirates fans, saying their violent conduct, something that has happened with worrying frequency at Pfupajena, was not expected from humans.

With Mushowani taking on Flame Lily in their next encounter, there could be a new leader in the race if Bindura United win this coming weekend.

Bindura United have a number of old Mwana Africa faces in their structures, including former Mwana Africa team manager Kuda Sharara, and the club hopes that their experience will help them win the competitive Northern Region Division One championship this season.

Ageless midfielder Alisara Kondowe, who turned 38 on May 6, is still running the strings in the team’s engine room and, back in his hometown where he went to school at Chipindura High, he is serving out the twilight phase of his career hoping to give his beloved community one big present, a place in the Premiership, before he calls it quits.

Forward Daniel “Magrease” Kamunhenga has played at a number of Premiership clubs, including Monomotapa, Hwange and Triangle, but has returned to his hometown Bindura and has been a key player in the Bindura United revival.

Source : The Herald