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Queens suffer blow

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Malawi national netball team’s mission of reclaiming bronze at the Fast 5 Netball World Series in Melbourne, Australia, suffered a huge setback after the Queens lost two out of the three games they played yesterday.

During the opening game of the competition at Hisense Arena, Malawi lost to hosts Australia 29-15 but recovered to narrowly defeat England 27-26.

In their last game of the day, the Queens lost to Jamaica 35- 30.

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Malawi, who are without star shooter Mwawi Kumwenda of Melbourne Vixens, are hoping to reclaim bronze which they won in the 2016 edition of the competition.

In their first game, the Queens paid dearly for starting with fringe players Alinafe Kamwala and Jessie Mazengera-Sanudi at the expense of established attackers such as Joyce Mvula of Manchester Thunder and Civonets’ Jane Chimaliro.

During the second match, the Queens started with a rather strong team with Mvula and Chimaliro starting upfront whereas Takondwa Lwazi played at centre court. In defence, Malawi had Joanna Kachilika and Towera Vinkhumbo- Nyirenda.

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According to www. fast5worldseries.com.au, a couple of errors in the England goal circle led Malawi to score two more points to bring them in front with two minutes to go but England were hot on their heels, scoring another two points to bring the scores back to level.

With 20 seconds to go, Georgina Fisher scored one point to put England in the lead but Mvula cut England celebration short by converting a two-point shot to allow the Queens to win by one point.

But Malawi disappointed in their third game which they lost to Jamaica.

Queens Coach Griffin Saenda Senior made one change to the team that started against England by resting Kachilika for Lauren Ngwira.

After a shaky start that saw the Queens scoring five baskets in each of the first two quarters, Malawi utilised their power-play to lead 28-27 at the end of the third quarter.

However, Jamaica bounced back to win the tie.

Before departure, Saenda stated that he wanted the team to reclaim the bronze medals it won in 2016. The Queens slumped to position six during last year’s event.

The competition continues today with the Queens taking on continental rivals South Africa before meeting New Zealand.

After preliminary round games are concluded, the teams will be paired according to their points.

Play-offs will then follow to determine the overall results of the competition.

Teams on positions one and two will battle for gold with those finishing third and fourth battling for bronze.

The last two slots at the contest will be decided by the meeting of teams that will finish the preliminary round games on positions five and six.

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