Mwawi Kumwenda misses grand final
Malawi National Netball Team top shooter, Mwawi Kumwenda, saw her hopes of playing in Australia’s inaugural Super Netball Grand Final come to a crashing end after her Melbourne Vixens were beaten 65-57 by Giants Netball in the competition’s preliminary final on Saturday.
Having entered the finals series as championship favourites after finishing the season on top of the ladder, Vixens were sent packing from the finals race with a loss that followed last week’s one-goal major semi-final loss to the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Giants, one of three new teams in the expanded and revamped national league, will now meet Lightning in the Super Netball decider on Saturday.
For the young Vixens, it was a season that started with little external expectation and developed into one with so much promise, but ultimately ended in crushing disappointment.
According to heraldsun. com.au, Giants goal shooter Kristina Brice (42/44) was equally dominant while Vixens goalers Mwawi (37/44) and Tegan Philip (20/26) struggled to make their usual impact.
The signs were not good from the start, with Vixens attacking pair of Tegan and Mwawi struggling to get on top in the goal circle against Giants’ defensive pairing of Bec Bulley and Sam Poolman.
But Vixens were also having to work overtime just to deliver the ball into the circle as Giants’ defensive pressure across the court strangled their flow into attack.
Trailing by eight goals at the main break, Vixens coach Simone McKinnis stuck with her favoured starting seven for the start of the second half, but when the margin stretched to 12 goals with three minutes to play, she seized a time-out opportunity to change up her midcourt.
A 13-goal margin greeted the Vixens at the final change, with McKinnis swapping Tegan and Mwawi for the start of the final term.
They moved back to their normal roles mid-way through the quarter as Giants lead blew out to 16 goals.
The Vixens rallied late in the quarter to reduce the final margin, but it was too late to stop Giants’ charge into the decider.
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