Richards Bay stun Pirates, relegate Spurs

football11 May 2024 19:57| © Backpage TXT

Richards Bay claimed a surprise 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening, with the result confirming Cape Town Spurs’ relegation from the DStv Premiership.

Sanele Barns struck the only goal of the game in the first half, as the Natal Rich Boyz claimed a fourth win from their last six league matches.

They remained in the relegation playoff berth, but have closed to within two points of third-from-bottom Royal AM (who have a game in hand).

In addition, Bay have opened an eight-point lead over Spurs, who are now mathematically certain to finish bottom of the log and will therefore play in the second-tier Motsepe Foundation Championship next season.

As for the Buccaneers, this result ended a run of seven successive wins across all competitions, and saw them miss out on the chance to leapfrog into second place and take advantage of Stellenbosch FC’s loss to Moroka Swallows earlier in the day.

Even a draw would have been enough for Pirates to take second spot on goal difference, but instead they remained in third place, one point adrift of the Winelands team.

The teams traded half-chances through the opening half hour, with neither Pirates nor Bay looking especially likely to find the back of the net, as respective goalkeepers Sipho Chaine and Salim Magoola were not called into significant action.

The visitors then shocked the home crowd by claiming the lead in the 36th minute: Pirates failed to clear their lines from a long throw-in and the ball fell kindly for Sanele Barns, who steered a side-foot finish beyond Chaine’s left hand for 1-0.

The Soweto side should have drawn level three minutes later when Tshegofatso Mabasa was picked out by a fine cross from Patrick Maswanganyi, but the striker failed to direct his header on target.


A goal down at the interval, the Buccaneers were lucky not to be a man down early in the second half when Mabasa committed a reckless, studs-up challenge on Lwandle Mabuya. 

The action was deserving of a straight red card, but amazingly the Pirates attacker was not even booked.

On 56 minutes Pirates were inches away from an equaliser, as Relebohile Mofokeng unleashed a shot from just outside the penalty area which had the beating of Magoola, but rebounded off the crossbar.

The team in black and white made ultra attacking changes in an effort to get back into the match, including the introductions of Evidence Makgopa, Katlego Otladisa and Ledesi Kapinga.

On 82 minutes Maswanganyi had a great chance to level the game, cutting inside a defender and firing a left-footed effort on target from just a few metres out, but Magoola made a superb reaction save with his right hand.

That was the last genuine chance for Pirates, while Bay had several promising opportunities to kill off the game on the counter, but lacked the necessary ruthlessness.

Nonetheless, the Natal Rich Boyz were able to secure a three-point haul which could go a long way in seeing them remain in the top flight for next season.

The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action on Saturday 18 May, with Bay away to Cape Town City and Pirates visiting TS Galaxy.

Orlando Pirates: 0

Richards Bay: (1) 1 (Barns 36’)

Pirates: Chaine, Monyane (Otladisa 72’), Xoki (Sibisi 65’), Ndah, Maela, Timm (Baloni 65’), Ndlondlo (Kapinga 78’), Mofokeng, Dlamini (Makgopa 65’), Maswanganyi, Mabasa

Bay: Magoola, Mabuya, Mthethwa, Mcineka, Ndaba, Dlamini (Komane 68’), Mthembu (Dube 68’), Mhlongo, Barns (Mabua 90+5’), Ntsundwana (Gumede 75’), Muyaba (Figuareido 68’)