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No joy for Joyce

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By Mphatso Malidadi:

TOP PERFORMER— Mvula jumps for the ball during the match

Malawi national netball team shooter Joyce Mvula’s chances of winning the Vitality Super League title in the United Kingdom suffered a setback after her team, Manchester Thunder, lost 53- 56 to Team Bath on Saturday.

But despite losing the home tie, Thunder remained second with 36 points whereas leaders Wasps opened a six-point gap after beating Strathclyde Sirens 56-41 in an away assignment.

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The result means Thunder’s quest for a play- off spot is under threat as Bath and Loughborough Lightning have also collected 36 points.

Saracens Mavericks, who defeated Severn Stars 62-48, are on fifth position and can force their way into the play-offs should one of the top four slip up.

Thunder started the first quarter impressively when they took a lead of 16-12 but Bath came back into the game to lead 24-27 at half time.

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Mvula started on the bench but was introduced at the start of the third quarter after the game swung in Bath’s direction.

“As the second half rolled around, Head Coach Karen Greig wasted no time in ringing in the changes. Rebekah Airey came on at WD in place of Malcolm, and Joyce Mvula slotted in at GS to replace Cardwell,” report Thunder’s website.

Thunder still trailed by three goals at the end of the last two quarters. The third quarter ended 38-41 as Bath maintained the lead.

The visitors held on in the fourth quarter to win 53-56.

It was also a bad day at the office for another Queens star, Lauren Ngwira, as her team, London Pulse, continued struggling with a 62-67 loss to Lightning.

Pulse have six points from 17 games and are anchoring the table.

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