Black Pearls win the 2023 Central Region Women's Championship Credit: John Batanudde

Black Pearls are the 2022 Central Region Women’s champions. They beat Thunderbirds, 32-03, in the season’s title decider at Kings Park on Saturday afternoon.

But having to win it on the last day does not do justice to how far ahead of the pack Black Pearls have been this season. Every test thrown at them by challengers Thunderbirds, Avengers and Ewes has been passed with flying colours.

They started the season away in Entebbe against Avengers, collecting a 19-08 victory that dropped the just-crowned Uganda Cup champions from cloud nine. Their first home game would have been against Ewes but the new club were a no-show so a 20-00 walkover was awarded.

The closest they came to losing points was at Kyadondo this season where they fought for a 17-15 victory against Thunderbirds.

Coincidentally, Black Pearls played the entire second round at home after the would-be away game against Ewes was shifted to Kings Park. They bagged a clean 115-00 result before coming from 24-22 down against Avengers to win by 32-24 in the final four minutes the following weekend.

Black Pearls have a “kill by strangling” approach to their game and it showed in the final showdown against Thunderbirds.

Just three minutes after kickoff, Charlotte Mudoola had converted a penalty before Thunderbirds could settle in. Then ten minutes later, Emilly Lekuru scored the first try of the match.

Suzan Adong added another at the half-hour mark for Black Pearls to lead by 13-00 into the break.

It was a similar script in the second half as Ritta Nadunga scored her first of three tries just three minutes in. Then she was over for the second a brief seven minutes later, and had completed her hat trick by the hour mark.

Nadunga scored an absolutely world class hattrick; each of the three tries with neat ball-handling, good running lines, pace and power, and support play from her teammates.

All said and done, Black Pearls have completely silenced their critics this season. They have displayed enviable skills and top class work rate to go unbeaten. And their Twitter admin takes no prisoners.

With consistent performances like they have done this season, one would not be wrong to fear that the past three years have only been just the start of their long reign over Ugandan rugby.

Ernest Akorebirungi joined Kawowo Sports in July 2019 after one year as a student volunteer at the Makerere University Games Union. In his role as rugby correspondent, he offers unique insight and analysis...

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