HISTORY could be in the making as Chiredzi-based Eastern Region Division One teams, Triangle and Hippo Valley have become firm favourites to clinch the league title and bring top-flight football to the lowveld town for the first time in the post independence era.
It’s game on in the league where leaders, Triangle, second-placed Hippo Valley and Masvingo-based Setheo United are in the race for Premiership promotion, while Mutare Municipality outfit, Mutare City Rovers now have an outside chance of clinching the coveted title.
With the same number of matches played so far in the season, the Chiredzi sugarcane growers - Triangle and Hippo Valley - are at the helm of the log standings, with the former perched on top, thanks to a two point lead.
Both teams have been collecting points for fun, with Hippo Valley posting some emphatic victories such as last weekend's 14-1 drubbing of hapless relegation candidates Gaths Mine.
However, the two Chiredzi based teams will have a few more hurdles to overcome before one of them can celebrate Premiership promotion and one such enormous challenge is Triangles' away fixture against Tenax at Sakubva in their next league assignment.
Since attaining independence in 1980, Chiredzi has never had a resident Premiership football club and both Hippo Valley and Triangle had over the years gained the notoriety of being party spoilers in the Eastern Region Division One League rather than serious Premiership promotion contenders.
However, if events unfolding in the Eastern Region Division One league this season are anything to go by, Chiredzi might soon have one of its own in the country's domestic football league which had become a haven of teams from Harare and Bulawayo only.
Hippo Valley coach, Taku Shariwa, whose club slipped to second position after months of enjoying life at the summit of the table, is on record saying his team is working round the clock to bring Premiership football to Chiredzi come the end of 2012 season.
"We are going for the big prize, there is no doubt about that. The race is still wide open, but we are a serious contender. If we can be the one to bring Premiership football to Chiredzi for the first time after independence, then let it be," said the Hippo Valley coach in a recent interview.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Region Division One League takes a break this week to pave way for the Sylvia Dube Memorial tournament.
Hippo Valley are the reigning Sylvia Dube Memorial tournament after they dismissed AMC in last year’s final.
Results: Hippo Valley 14, Gathsmine 1; ZRP Masvingo 2, Tenax 2; Triangle United 1, Setheo United 1; Mutare City Rovers 2, Mkwasine 0; Masvingo United 2, Gaza Gunners 0; Renco Mine 1, Surrey 0:
Sylvia Dube Memorial
tournament first round fixtures:
Masvingo United v ZRP Masvingo; Setheo v Gaths Mine; Hippo Valley v Triangle; Renco Mine v Mwenezana; Gaza Gunners v Tenax; Mkwasoine v Mutare City Rovers; Arcturus v Chivhu Stars; Surrey v Ruwa United.