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‘Only two Eagles players were training’

Blue Eagles Sisters coach, Sam Kanyenda, has blamed fatigue after his charges lost to Kukoma Diamonds 38-28 in the final of the GOtv Netball Champions League at Don Bosco in Lilongwe on Saturday.

Billed as favourites, Eagles finished on second position behind Diamonds who reclaimed the trophy.

The coach made startling revelations when he disclosed that only two first choice players Takondwa Lwazi and Juliet Sambo were training before the final whereas the rest of the squad including shooter Joyce Mvula, Rose Kuliyenda and Tana Kuwali were undergoing police training in Mtakataka, Dedza.

Kanyenda said her charges lost steam in the first quarter even though they took an early lead.

“I would say that my players underwent strenuous endurance training in Mtakataka but then they did not have much time to recover. During this time, only two first team players were training as the rest completed their police training. The players tried their best but they could not match Diamonds because they hardly rested. In fact I noticed that something was wrong with my players on Friday during the semifinal when we struggled to beat Thunder Queens,” he said.

Kanyenda said they had learnt lessons and they would plan carefully next time to avoid a repeat of the incident.

“Nevertheless, I know that we have made huge strides and it will help us do better next time,” he said.

In the semifinal, Eagles beat Thunders while Diamonds knocked out defending champions Complex Tigresses 34-33.

In a third-placed match, former champions Complex Tigresses settled for bronze after beating most improved side Thunder Queens 40-33.

Civonets ended on fifth position after overcoming Lameck Queens 48-23. Lameck ended on sixth position.

Mafco ended on position seven after defeating debutants Mimosa Queens 42-26.

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