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‘Birds’ fly to top of the log after 2-0 win over Pirates

By Lwazi Dlamini
(At the Prince of Wales Sports Ground)

New recruit Neliswa ‘Tiger’ Dlamini endeared himself to the Mbabane Swallows faithful hearts when he scored on his debut as the ‘Beautiful Birds’ flew to the top of the MTN log standings after a convincing 2-0 win over Moneni Pirates on Thursday afternoon.

Signed from Manzini Wanderers via the Player Status Committee who handed him a free clearance last week, ‘Tiger’ unleashed a thunderbolt shot from 25 yards to beat Moneni Pirates goalkeeper Bhekisisa Dlamini hands down midway through the second half.

The fans, however, could not see the former Wanderers midfielder score a wondrous goal since the game was played behind closed doors as part of Swallows’ punishment after their fans’ misbehaviour on December 17 at Mavuso Sports Centre after a 2-1 loss to arch-rivals Mbabane Highlanders.

Lanky striker Sandile Hlatshwako gave Swallows the lead in the 52nd minute when he headed sublimely a gift-wrapped cross from Ayanda Gadlela. In an ill-tempered clash where bone-crushing tackles were flying from both sides, Pirates’ long-serving defender, Menzi ‘Magawugawu’ Simelane was shown a red card for unsavoury words to the referee three minutes before fulltime.

Swallows are joint-leaders with Green Mamba on 31 points but the ‘Birds’ 16-goal difference means they get to enjoy being on top of the pile at least for the next 48 hours as the ‘Correctional Services’ side will only play on Saturday against Tambankulu Callies at Tambankulu Stadium on Saturday.

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