Royal trump Richards Bay in KZN derby

football02 March 2024 20:02| © Backpage TXT

Royal AM trumped KwaZulu-Natal rivals Richards Bay 2-1 in a DStv Premiership match played at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday night.

Thwihli Thwahla secured the victory – a first in the league in 2024 – thanks to two penalties from Motebang Sera and Menzi Masuku in the second half.

As for the Natal Rich Boyz (whose consolation goal was scored by Yanela Mbuthuma), the result was a fourth defeat from their last five league outings.

The result lifts Royal to 12th place on the log, a full nine points clear of the relegation playoff berth (15th) occupied by their vanquished opponents.

Royal were the better team through the first half, enjoying more possession and creating more scoring opportunities, though they only once called Bay goalkeeper Salim Magoola into action, with Levy Mashiane denied on the half-hour mark.

The hosts lacked coherence and cohesion in their attacking play, something which manifested in frustration for forward Lwandle Mabuya, who was booked a few minutes before the halftime break.

Royal also made a swop inside the first half when they brought on Siphesihle Msomi in place of Jeffrey Dlamini on 37 minutes, following an unfortunate injury for the latter.


Goalless at the break, the second half saw a penalty awarded to Thwihli Thwahla early on, with Mabuya somewhat harshly adjudged to have fouled Menzi Masuku.

Motebang Sera coolly scored from the spot kick to put the hosts 1-0 up on 52 minutes.

A second penalty was awarded to Royal shortly before the hour mark, with Simphiwe Mcineka mis-timing a challenge on Masuku. The fouled player struck home the spot kick to make it 2-0 in the 60th minute.

Bay looked for a response and Muyaba was able to stab a shot goal-wards on 69 minutes, but Royal goalkeeper Hugo Nyame made a scrambling save to keep his team in charge of the game.

However, on 74 minutes the hosts were thrown a lifeline when substitutes Somila Ntsundwana and Yanela Mbuthuma combined to pull a goal back: the former powered down the left and fired in a dangerous low cross which was directed into the back of the net by the latter.

Mbuthuma netted again in the 81st minute but was correctly ruled offside, and that was as close as the hosts came to finding an equaliser.

The teams will be back in Premiership action in the coming midweek, with Bay away to Chippa United and Royal visiting Sekhukhune United, both on Wednesday 6 March.

Richards Bay (0) 1 (Mbuthuma 74’)

Royal AM (0) 2 (Sera 52’ pen, Masuku 60’ pen)

Bay: Magoola, Mabuya, Mcineka, Dube, Ndaba, Barns, Mthembu (Makateng 75’), Dlamini, Gumede (Ntsundwana 53’), Figuareido, Muyaba (Mbuthuma 70’)

Royal: Nyame, Shezi, Jiyane, Sikakane, Sithole, Mahlasela, Dlamini (Msomi 37’), Cele (Kobedi 79’), Mashiane (Ndlovu 79’), Masuku (Lingwati 90’), Motebang