Richards Bay and Royal AM fire derby blanks

football20 May 2023 15:49| © Backpage TXT
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Jabulani Ncobeni © Gallo Images

Royal AM ended the season in the bottom half of the DStv Premiership table after being held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Richards Bay at the King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

John Maduka's side had an outside chance of qualifying for the MTN 8 but they needed to win the KZN derby and hope that Stellenbosch, Sekhukhune United, Golden Arrows and Swallows all lost on the final day.

As it turns out, the Maroons, Babina Noko and the Dube Birds won their respective matches to finish in the top eight, while the point in Durban left Thwihli Thwahla in 11th place, two points clear of the Natal Rich Boyz down in 13th position.

The hosts had to see out the final seven minutes of the game with a man down after Sanele Barns received a straight red card for a bad challenge on his opponent.

Richards Bay were looking to snap a run of three successive defeats as part of a winless streak stretching back 13 matches, which had left them in free-fall after a promising start to life in the top flight.

Meanwhile, Royal AM sought a return to winning ways after a 1-0 defeat to Swallows last weekend extended their winless sequence to four outings.

Chances were at a premium, however, as the two teams struggled to make inroads in the final third, with the Natal Rich Boyz forced to make an early change when Siyanda Msani replaced Sakhile Hlongwa after just 29 minutes.

Maduka threw on Ruzaigh Gamildien, Motebang Sera and Sedwyn George early in the second half in a bid to swing the match in their favour but Richards Bay held firm at the back despite being reduced to 10 men in the 83rd minute when Barns was red-carded.

Richards Bay 0

Royal AM 0

Richards Bay: S. Magoola, K. Maphathe, S. Mcineka, S. Mthethwa, T. Mabua, S. Barns, A. Mabaso (N. Nyauza 89'), S. Ntsundwana (K. Makateng 89'), M. Mathebula, S. Hlongwa (S. Msani 29'), L. Memela (M. Mthembu 80').

Royal AM: M. Mpoto, S. Mogaila, S. Mabuza, L. Manganyi, K. Shezi (P. Cele 80'), H. Cele (R. Gamildien 57'), J. Ncobeni, S. Magaqa, M. Masuku (M. Sera 57'), M. Thikazi (A. Mpisane 80'), L. Mashiane (S. George 57').