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Malawi Queens survive Zambia scare

Malawi national netball team, the Queens, struggled to beat Zambia 51-45 in the Africa Netball Championship at Lugogo Indoor Stadium in Kampala, Uganda, on Wednesday to remain in contention for a silver medal.

The Queens trail leaders Uganda by two points. The hosts have eight points, having won all their four games, whereas the Queens have lost once and won three matches to amass six points.

The championship will end Thursday with Malawi facing Botswana whereas Uganda will meet Zambia. In another match, Namibia and Zimbabwe will also clash.

During the match, Malawi Coach, Griffin Saenda, maintained six players from the squad that beat Namibia when he rested goal defender Martha Dambo and recalled Wezzie Mzemba-Msiska.

Mzemba-Msiska teamed up with Captain, Joana Kachilika, and wing defender Juliet Sambo in defence.

Wing attacker Beatrice Mpinganjira and centre Thandie Galeta-Saenda were also entrusted with the role of feeding shooter Joyce Mvula and goal-attacker Jessica Mazengera-Sanudi.

The match was interrupted by power failure at the end of the first quarter, forcing the teams to wait for 20 minutes.

First quarter ended with Queens leading by a margin of 19. However, Zambia forced their way back into the game when they pinned down the Queens. At half time, both teams were tied at 24-24.

Sensing danger, Saenda introduced Dambo for Mzemba-Msiska and substituted Mpinganjira for Bridget Kumwenda.

Towards the end of the fourth quarter, Queens faltered, allowing Zambia to narrow the margin. Third quarter ended 39-34 in favour of the Queens.

In the fourth quarter, the Queens defenders committed many unforced errors, giving room to Zambia attackers.

However, Malawi held on to win the match and stay in contention for a silver medal.

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