Malawi Queens in a winning start


Malawi National Netball Team Coach Griffin Saenda lived up to his promise of making a winning start at the African Netball Championship in Kampala, Uganda, when his team registered a 55-45 win over Zimbabwe in a highly competitive match Sunday.

The Queens are itching to reclaim the title they surrendered to South Africa on home soil in 2013.

It was not a convincing performance from Saenda’s team which laboured to overcome a spirited performance from the Zimbabweans who seem to be developing into a major force.


The veteran coach must devise a better strategy if the team is to prevail in today’s match against hosts Uganda who beat the Queens in a strength-testing encounter last week.

In yesterday’s match, Saenda started with Joana Kachilika, Martha Dambo and Wezzie Mzemba-Msiska in defence whereas Thandie Galeta-Saenda and Bridget Kumwenda were at centre court and wing attack, respectively.

Upfront, the coach banked on shooter Joyce Mvula and goal attacker Jane Chimaliro.


The Queens led 17-9 in the first quarter before extending the lead to 28-22 at half time.

In the third quarter, Zimbabwe caused some problems for Malawi but the former champions still managed to stretch the lead to 40-31.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Saenda rested Chimaliro for Jessica Mazengera-Sanudi and also introduced Beatrice Mpinganjira for Bridget Kumwenda.

Saenda was not available for comment but Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said it was a good start for the Queens.

However, she said it was too early for the team to wear the favourites’ tag.

“This is what we wanted. We had to win to make our intentions clear. We need to maintain this rhythm. But the Zimbabwe game is gone and we should be plotting Uganda’s downfall. We all know that it will be tough but the players and technical panel have promised to put up a spirited performance,” she said.

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