In the shadow of our own Bonnie and Clyde, Gallants write their own story

While the entire country was gripped and spellbound by the Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana’s Bonnie and Clyde story, Marumo Gallants were quietly going on about their business of writing their own story, and making minced-meat out of a hapless Chippa United in Polokwane.

Two Gallants officials, physiotherapist Tebogo Dhlomo and media officer Rufus Matsena, have just returned to the country safely after being held captive in a Benghazi hotel in Libya by the owner Dr Ali El-Zarghi. They were released after the intervention of the SA government via Dirco, Safa and the SA ambassador to Tunisia.

Even though their stay was traumatic, the duo was happy the sacrifices they made for the team paid off and that the players came to the party and are slowly climbing up the PSL log table. Rufus even joked as to how the Ramadan fasting in the strictly Muslim country assisted him in trouncing his beer belly and in shedding a few kilos – he also happily showed off his trimmed upper torso.

Bahlabane ba Ntwa have also punched above their weight, and they are doing extremely well in the Confederations of African Football (Caf) Confederation Cup. Unnoticed, they have managed to sneak into the quarterfinals of the Caf after an impressive run since the start of the competition and also in the group stages where they came out unscathed against the likes of USM Algiers (Algeria), Saint Eloi Lupopo (DR Congo) and Al Fakhda of Libya.

To crown a wonderful week, they stunned the Chilli Boys when they came back from behind to register a 3-1 victory that dragged Chippa deeper into the relegation quagmire.

Gallants have been anchoring the league table from the bottom for most parts of the season but their amazing fightback midweek saw them climb two places to number 14. It’s now in their hands and they can now also concentrate and put more focus on their Cinderella run in the Confederation Cup.

Credit must be given where it’s due. They are playing a delightful brand of football as we saw against Kaizer Chiefs last week and also against Chippa. But we can only hope they do not get carried away and that surviving the relegation axe is top of their priorities. They will need to bring their A game in their next league matches against SuperSport United, Maritzburg United and Mamelodi Sundowns.

 It was also encouraging to hear Abram Sello telling yours truly with authority that they are financially stable and that the club is far from being broke.

The biggest lesson learnt for club owner Sello is that you need to be street-smart and to have your wits about you when venturing up on African continent. They are going back to north Africa to face Pyramids FC in Egypt. They will go there much wiser and with a contingency plan. Just wondering if the now war-veteran Rufus will be packing his bags for the trip.

As for Chippa, who have survived the relegation chop on numerous occasions, the ride could be over… just like Bester and Magudumana. Let’s see what trick Chippa Mpengesi has up his sleeve this time around.

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