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Junior Queens to fight for bronze

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Malawi Under-20 National Netball Team’s unconvincing display in the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games has relegated the team to a bronze medal battle against Zimbabwe.

The two sides clash at Griffin Saenda Sports Complex this morning before the final match between South Africa and Zambia.

The junior Queens defeated Botswana 67-33 yesterday but the win was not enough to earn the hosts a ticket to the final.

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The result saw Malawi drawing level with Zambia at six points each but the latter’s better basket difference saw them clinching second position ahead of the hosts, who settled for third.

South Africa topped the table with 10 points following a perfect record while Zimbabwe lie fourth with five points.

Namibia are fifth with three points whereas Botswana anchor the table without a point.

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Malawi Assistant Coach Beatrice Mpinganjira said her team lacks exposure.

“We should not abandon the team. We need to maintain it. It is good that most of these players are still youthful and can feature at this level for many years to come.

“If our defence was tight enough, we could have done better in this competition. We also committed a lot of unnecessary turnovers,” Mpinganjira said.

She said they had turned their focus on the match against the Zimbabwe side they defeated 42-37 on Tuesday.

“We need to get bronze as a consolation after failing to qualify for the final. We may have, indeed, defeated them in our earlier match but this encounter is a different ball game altogether; so, we need to work hard and be extra careful,” Mpinganjira said.

The junior Queens lost to favourites South Africa 55-32 on Sunday before going down to Zambia 52-35.

In other matches played Thursday, Zambia beat Namibia 50-41 while South Africa defeated Zimbabwe 56- 34.

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