Malawi National Netball Team’s quest for Pent Series title suffered a huge setback following a 59- 43 humiliating defeat to Uganda at Patrick Iyambo Police College in Windhoek, Namibia, yesterday.
The 16-goal margin underlined how much the seventh ranked side, Uganda, had progressed to outshine and overpower the sixth ranked Malawi.
Now Uganda are favourites to lift the trophy, having won their first two games ahead of the Africa Netball Cup, which throws off soon after this tournament.
It was a wake-up call to the Queens, who have been thriving on their past success as administrators keep on turning a blind eye to good preparations and sound development programmes, among others.
In a match monitored on Namibia Netball Association Facebook page, the She-Cranes were outstanding in all the departments forcing the Queens to make kindergarten errors.
In defence Uganda were solid whereas in attack they were ruthless and hungry.
Queens Coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa maintained the side that defeated Zimbabwe 56-38 on Monday.
The defence of captain Caroline Mtukule- Ngwira, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda and Grace Mwafulirwa was fragile, failing to contain Uganda’s tall attackers whereas Queens centre court players Bridget Kumwenda and Shira Dimba failed to supply attackers, including top shooter Joyce Mvula, with telling passes.
Other attackers Jane Chimaliro and Sindie Simtowe- Msowoya did not make a lasting impression.
From the third quarter, Chawinga-Kaluwa made changes but the substitutes were equally disappointing, failing to help change the flow of the game.
Except for youthful wing attacker Flora Chipeta, the rest of the substitutes had no clue on what they were supposed to do.
The first quarter ended 14- 10 in favour of Uganda, who stretched the lead to 28-22 at half time. At the end of the third quarter, Malawi were trailing Uganda 43-32.
Both Chawinga-Kaluwa and Mtukule-Ngwira conceded defeat and promised to bounce back.
The Queens coach said her game strategy did not work.
“We were trying different combinations but, unfortunately they didn’t work. We just need to pull up our socks,” Chawinga- Kaluwa said.
Mtukule-Ngwira said the Queens misplaced a lot of passes.
“It was not our day. We just to work hard in the other games,” she said.
Action in Pent series will continue today with the Queens facing hosts Namibia, whereas Uganda will meet Zimbabwe. Kenya will take on Zambia.
Games will continue tomorrow, with Zambia clashing against Queens while Uganda will meet Kenya. Zimbabwe will then face Namibia.
The competition will end on Friday, with Kenya taking on Malawi while Zambia will entertain Zimbabwe.
Uganda will meet hosts, Namibia, in the final game.