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Malawi Queens in sixth finish, coaches not happy

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By Mphatso Malidadi:

Malawi national netball team finished the 2019 Netball World Cup on position six after a 68-50 defeat to Jamaica at M & S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England, Sunday.

Following the result, Malawi have failed to match the record they set in 2007 at a similar competition after finishing fifth.

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The ninth-ranked Queens are hoping to move up the rankings after beating top ranked sides Northern Ireland and Uganda.

Malawi maintained the team that started in the 55-44 win over Uganda on Friday with the hope of causing an upset.

Sunday’s match appeared to be a one-sided affair as Jamaica led right from the start.

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Malawi tried to change matters by pulling out Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira for Lauren Ngwira as towering Jhaniele Fowler scored at will.

The change at least brought the stability the Queens needed in defence as Ngwira, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda and Grace Mwafulirwa- Mhango intercepted several passes.

The first quarter ended with the Queens trailing 20-13.

Malawi went into the second quarter with guns blazing and, as usual, it was centre Takondwa Lwazi- Mtonga and shooter Joyce Mvula combining to narrow the gap.

At some point, the Queens put Jamaica under siege to tie the scores at 25.

But the substitution of Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda for Mtukule-Ngwira worked to Queens’ disadvantage as the Sunshine Girls continued dominating to lead 37-28 at half time.

In the third quarter, Malawi re-introduced Vinkhumbo- Nyirenda for Mtukule-Ngwira but it was not enough to thwart Jamaica who finished it at 52-41.

Jamaica upped the tempo in the fourth quarter to wrap up the match 68-50.

Malawi assistant Coach, Whyte Mulilima, said he was not happy with the sixth finish.

“We have not improved. We needed a better finish,” Mulilima said.

Former Malawi captain, Emmie Waya-Chongwe, said the team could have performed better with sound preparations.

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