Malawi Queens’ reputation as a major netball force on the continent was thrown into question after suffering a devastating 43-66 defeat to hosts, Uganda, at the on-going Africa Netball Championship Monday.
The Queens endured a bad end as they played with six players mid-way from the third quarter after Alinafe Kamwala was given marching orders.
This allowed the She-Cranes, as Uganda are known, to further extend the lead and humiliate the Malawians.
Queens Coach, Griffin Saenda, had featured Kamwala in defence in a bid to contain Uganda’s towering shooter, Peace Proscovia.
Proscovia is Uganda’s only professional netballer who turns out for British side Lightning Loughborough. Just like in the friendly against Malawi, she led the assault after scoring several baskets. She also tormented Malawi’s defence at will.
Wezzie Mzemba-Msiska and Joana Kachilika partnered Kamwala in defence whereas centre Thandie Galeta and wing attacker Beatrice Mpinganjira were tasked to supply balls to Manchester Thunder shooter Joyce Mvula and goal attacker Jessica Mazengera- Sanudi.
The Queens trailed 11-13 at the end of the first quarter and 27-22 at half time.
But midway through the third quarter, Malawi’s resilience to salvage a positive result from the match was thrown off balance after Kamwala was sent out for persistent contacts.
The expulsion allowed the She- Cranes to haunt the Queens and stretch the lead to 48-29 at the end of the third quarter.
The last quarter saw Queens players opting for damage limitation as they were outnumbered.
Queens are the topmost-ranked team at the championship and were billed as favourites to lift the title.
The Queens have a chance to get their campaign back on track as they meet Namibia Tuesday.
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