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Queens back empty handed

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BACKING QUEENS—
Chimwendo Banda

Malawi National Netball Team, the Queens, are expected to arrive in the country today, having lost all four test matches in South Africa.

However, Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda has backed Queens’ performance, saying the team went took part in the test matches to evaluate their performance against third-ranked England and fifth ranked South Africa’s Spar Proteas.

“It was good that the team participated in practice matches ahead of the Commonwealth Games later this month. They needed to play against top sides to gauge their strength and weaknesses.

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“Having done well against relatively lowly ranked sides during the Cosana Tri-Nation tournament, the Queens needed proper yardstick to fine tune thoroughly before the side travels to England. In this case, the results do not matter but the lessons and how the Queens move forward,” Chimwendo Banda said.

According to results, which Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) released, the Queens lost to South Africa 73-42 on Monday.

England then beat Malawi 61-53 on Tuesday before defeating the Queens again 31- 26 on Thursday.

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Queens wrapped up the practice matches with another defeat to the hosts when they went down 57-49.

“Please note also that the matches involving Republic of South Africa, England against Malawi on 27th and 28th June 2022, respectively, were extended by an additional quarter during which South Africa scored 20 goals against Malawi’s 6 (six) and England scored 19 against Malawi’s 7 (seven),” read a statement which Queens Team Manager Diana Nkhulembe, who is also Nam Vice Secretary, released.

It means the Queens lost to South Africa 93-48 before losing to England 80-60 following the addition of the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, former Queens goalkeeper Neffie Kam’mata said nobody expected the team to do well against England and South Africa.

“However, lessons learnt from the practice matches can be vital for the Queens if they address all their shortfalls and improve on their strengths,” she said.

However, Kam’mata faulted Nam for withholding the results without prior notice.

“How the issue has been handled raises eyebrows. Why was it difficult to release the results when the team depends on tax-payers? Was it necessary for the Malawi National Council of Sports to intervene for the results to be made public?

“Such conduct raises suspicion and it makes others think that the results might have been cooked,” said the former defender for MTL Queens, Yellow Sisters and Tigresses.

Queens are expected to continue camping.

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