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Netballers sent off

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Malawi national netball team Captain, Joanna Kachilika and seasoned shooter, Sindie Simtowe- Msowoya, received march ing orders as Tigresses defeated Thunder Queens 45-41 in a Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League match at Blantyre Youth Centre on Saturday.
The game was full of tension as both sides wanted to underline their superiority.
The incident happened midway through the last quarter as Kachilika, of Thunder, appeared to slap Simtowe-Msowoya of Tigresses for an alleged contact (foul).
Umpires Masiye Chimphwanya and Stain Mang’anda, after consulting other officials, gave both players marching orders.
An irate Kachilika threatened unspecified action against this reporter if her pictures of the incident appear in The Daily Times.
“I am warning you. I will deal with you if you dare publish my pictures,” she said while swearing.
The incident happened in full view of Netball Association of Malawi President, Khungekile Matiya, Vice President, Chimwemwe Kachingwe and seasoned Coach Griffin Saenda Senior.
A Thunder’s official, who refused to be mentioned, said Kachilika was not to blame for the incident.
“I think the umpire wasn’t in [full] control of the game. On several occasions, our player [Kachilika] complained that she was being hit by an elbow, but he did not penalise Sindie. In that quarter, I think Joanna reacted [that way] because she was fed up with the umpire who wasn’t taking any action,” the official said.
Tigresses Coach, Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, claimed that Simtowe-Msowoya was innocent during the incident.
“There were a lot of contacts that went unpunished. We also saw officials and players on the bench shouting at the umpires, but they were also left unpunished. Of course, when Sindie left, we changed tactics, and it still worked for us,” she said.
Both sides started the first quarter sluggishly. Thunder had Kachilika, Martha Dambo and Esther Kayira in defence whereas Thandi Galeta was at centre-court with Jessy Kamwendo at wing-attack.
Emily Jere and Chikumbutso Kaminjolo partnered upfront whereas Tigresses had Lauren Ngwira, Beauty Basiyawo and Cathy Yikwanga in defence.
Licy Akidu-Fiwa featured at centre-court with Beatrice Mpinganjira at wing-attack while Ellen Chibokho and Simtowe- Msowoya combined upfront.
Tigresses led 22-21 at half-time. In the third-quarter, Thunder appeared to have turned the tide after leading 35-34, but Thunder lost form in the last quarter.
Second-placed Tigresses have 46 points from 18 games whereas Thunder are on third position with 42 points from 16 games.
After the game, Thunder Coach, Christina Mkwanda- Nsinji, said they lost the game due to inadequate preparations.
“We didn’t train as a team because some players were not reporting for the training due to transport problems,” she said.

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