Highlanders batter Rovers to remain top

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Bantu Rovers 2-4 Highlanders
HIGHLANDERS made it three wins in a row Sunday after beating Bantu Rovers 4-2 with Charles Sibanda grabbing a hat-trick in a Castle Lager Premiership match played at Barbourfields Stadium.
The result saw the Bulawayo giants maintained top spot in the on the log standings.
After losing 1-0 to Dynamos weeks ago, they have gone on to beat Black Rhinos 3-1 and How Mine 2-1 in the Bulawayo Derby last week before Sunday’s win against Bantu Rovers to take their points tally to 30 after 15 games.
ZPC Kariba, who beat Chicken Inn 1-0 on Friday are second with 27 points while Dynamos and Caps United, who drew 1-1 at the National Sports Stadium in the Harare Derby are on  third and fourth spots with 27 points respectively.
The biggest movers of the weekend were FC Platinum, who leapt three places from 10th to seventh place with 22 points after winning a fierce Zvishavane Derby against Shabanie Mine 2-1 on Saturday.
With three goals from Sunday’s match, Sibanda now leads the goal-scorers charts with 10 goals, two better than Kuda Musharu, who has not scored in the last four matches halfway through the season.
At Barbourfields on Sunday, things went Highlanders’ way as early as the 14th minute when they were awarded a penalty after veteran defender Hebert Dick brought down speedy Gabriel Nyoni in the box and Sibanda converted.
But it was 1-1 ten minutes later when Tafadzwa Kutinyu headed past Arial Sibanda.
Highlanders then regained the lead on the half hour when Sibanda intercepted a back pass to Bantu goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga and slotted home. It was 3-1 in the 45th minute when Sibanda completed his hat-trick from a Valentine Ndaba cross.
But barely 60 seconds later before the referee could blow to end the first half, Nqobizitha Masuku curled home a lovely free kick from the edge of the box.
There was little action in the second half until Ozias Zibande nodded home with the last kick of the day for an emphatic win.
On Saturday, FC Platinum maintained their dominance over Shabanie Mine win a 2-1 win in a packed Mandava Stadium.
Xolani Ncube headed home in the 34th minute for Shabanie before Qadr Amini’s stunner in the 58th minute from well outside the box levelled the scores.Advertisement

And Zambian international Aaron Katebe had the final say in the 78th minute, flashing home a Raymond Sibanda corner kick to silence the vocal Shabanie fans who outnumbered their Platinum counterparts by far.
Harare City and Hwange shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Rufaro on Saturday.
In other matches on Sunday, How Mine lost their third game in a row when they went down 1-0 to Black Rhinos at Rimuka Stadium. Nesbert Padzarondera’s solitary strike settled matters in the rather dull match.
Buffaloes beat Chiredzi 1-0 via a Jacob Muzokomba goal at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare while Triangle also won 1-0 against Chapungu at Gibbo Stadium.
Friday: ZPC Kariba 1-0 Chieckn Inn
Saturday:  Harare City 1-1 Hwange (Rufaro), FC Platinum 2-1 Shabanie Mine (Mandava)
Sunday: Caps United 1-1 Dynamos (NSS), Black Rhinos 1-0 How Mine (Rimuka), Buffaloes 1-0 Chiredzi (Chiredzi), Triangle 1-0 Chapungu (Chapungu), Highlanders 4-2 Bantu Rovers (BF)