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Malawi Queens thumped in first match

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Malawi national netball team started its Taini Jamison Trophy campaign on a scrappy note after suffering a 75-42 comprehensive defeat at the hands of hosts and holders, New Zealand, Wednesday at North Shore Events Centre.

The lopsided score-line against the second-ranked team in the world has set the tone for what to expect from the Queens ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games.

The defeat means that the Queens have lost for the 11th successive time, following their pathetic showing during last year’s Fast5 Netball World Series and three test matches against England.

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The Queens were dealt a blow before their departure after Head Coach, Griffin Saenda Senior, was advised by his doctors not to travel, leaving the huge task of reviving the side in the hands of Whyte Mulilima.

According to www.stuff. co.nz, Malawi had a couple of close results in their three-test series against England last year, so the ease in which the Silver Ferns put them away in this game should be an indicator of which direction both teams are heading to.

The Queens started with Manchester Thunder star, Joyce Mvula, at goal-shooter (GS) whereas Melbourne Vixens player, Mwawi Kumwenda, started at goal-attack (GA).

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Thandie Galeta started at wing-attack whereas Takondwa Lwazi was at centre-court.

The Queens skipper, Joana Kachilika, was at wing-defence (WD) where she combined with Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda at goal-defence (GD) and Lauren Ngwira at GS.

The trend of this game was quickly set, with the Silver Ferns scoring the first four points and they were up 18-4 after the first-quarter, with Te Paea Selby- Rickit scoring 11 from 13 and Bailey Mes seven from nine.

According to the publication, Mwawi shot five from six, while Jane Chimaliro, who had replaced Mvula after eight minutes, shot one from one.

“That highlighted the problem [which] Malawi had, they may have been able to score at a good percentage, but just couldn’t get the ball down to Mwai [Mwawi] Kumwenda and Jane Chimaliro enough,” reads part of the report.

In the first-quarter, the Queens were down 18-6 and at half-time, Malawi trailed 17-36. The third-quarter ended 56- 26 in favour of the hosts.

Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said they would not lose hope ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

“We are using these games to assess our strength and weaknesses before the Commonwealth Games. In the first-quarter, Joyce was substituted for Jane in the eighth minute and Mwawi moved to the GS. In second-quarter, Caroline (Mtukule-Ngwira) went in for Lauren as Towera moved to GK.

Bridget Kumwenda also went in for Thandie before Thandie later replaced Takondwa. Then Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya went in for Jane Chimaliro while Martha went in for Caroline as Joanna moved to GD,” Bapu said.

In another match, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls thrashed the Fiji Pearls 83-38. The Queens are, this morning, expected to face Fiji whereas New Zealand date Jamaica.

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