Johannesburg - Platinum Stars brushed aside challenging conditions to bag a 1-0 victory over Black Leopards in a rain-interrupted clash on Wednesday evening, rising to third place in the Premiership table.

The players were hauled off the field, due to hail, shortly before the break, and Stars held off their hosts after they returned, during a dull second half in Polokwane.

Henrico Botes netted the only goal in the seventh minute, finding the back of the net from close range after he had been set up by Vuyo Mere.

Eager to level the scores, Leopards were relentless on attack, with Mahlatse Maake firing wide to the left and Mongezi Bobe thumping his strike over the crossbar.

Bobe, however, had perhaps their best chance with 10 minutes remaining in the first half when he hit the woodwork from a long-range free kick.

Stars' only other real opportunity was created midway through the first half, but Mogakolodi Ngele was wayward with his attempt.

The match officials sent the players off, due to poor weather, just minutes before the interval, and while they returned after a short disruption, the spark seemed to have been removed from the game.

Raymond Monama had perhaps the only real chance for Leopards with eight minutes left in the encounter, with Stars looking intent to defend their lead, but his shot was saved by keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Stars, who have scored eight goals in four successive league victories, were left trailing only Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates after nine games in the league race. - Sapa