Malawi national netball team, the Queens, concluded the Africa Netball Championship with a breathtaking performance when they beat Botswana 71-39 Thursday to clinch silver medal at Lugogo Indoor Stadium in Kampala, Uganda.
However, the Queens failed to reclaim the title they surrendered on home soil in 2013 as they were pipped to the championship by the hosts.
Uganda won their first continental title with 10 points. The Queens finished the campaign with eight points having defeated Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana and lost to Uganda.
In attack yesterday, the Queens started with in-form Manchester Thunder shooter Joyce Mvula and lively goal attacker Jessica Mazengera-Sanudi.
The pair relied on the supplies of wing attacker Bridget Kumwenda and centre Thandie Galeta-Saenda whereas Joana Kachilika, Martha Dambo and Juliet Sambo covered the Queens’ ring.
Malawi led in the first quarter 19-11 then 36-22 at half-time.
Malawi lost Mvula to an injury in the third quarter and she was replaced by Alinafe Kamwala, who impressed upfront after partnering with Mazengera-Sanudi. Malawi led 56-30 in the third quarter.
Before the fourth quarter, the Queens Coach, Griffin Saenda, rested Kachilika for Colleta Mwalilino and Mazengera-Sanudi for Jane Chimaliro. Malawi held on to the win.
In a post-match interview, Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said: “Despite the defeat to Uganda under questionable circumstances, I think sober minds will still applaud the Queens. We were without six key players but the others proved that they were equally good. ”
The Queens missed the services of Melbourne Vixens shooter, Mwawi Kumwenda, Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango, Takondwa Lwazi and Sindie Simtowe.
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