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Queens on top

Beat Zimbabwe to lead Cosana Tri-Nation

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BACK TO BACK—Masamba (left) being marked by Ndlovu

Malawi National Netball Team put up a spirited performance to overcome stubborn Zimbabwe 45-23 and go on top of the Cosana Tri-Nation tournament table at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Kuhes) Sports Complex Monday.

However, they have no time to rest on their laurels as they face a daunting task today when they meet Namibia in the morning before facing Zimbabwe in the evening.

In sharp contrast to their slow start against Namibia, the Queens started strongly in the first quarter as the defence of goalkeeper Towera Vinkhumbo, captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira and wing defender Martha Dambo was tight while centre Takondwa Lwazi linked the defence and attackers with so much ease and blistering speed.

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Wing attacker Bridget Kumwenda complemented Lwazi’s efforts by supplying decisive passes to goal shooter Tendai Masamba and goal attacker Jane Chimaliro.

The first quarter ended 14-4 with Queens leading.

In the second quarter, Zimbabwe reorganised themselves and their mission was helped after the Queens lost Mtukule- Ngwira to injury.

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Her replacement Lauren Ngwira also made some interceptions but it was clear she was a bit rusty following a long lay-off. Queens still led comfortably 23-12 at half time.

Queens made a series of changes including reintroducing Mtukule- Ngwira whereas Masamba was taken off for Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya while Shira Kapasula replaced Dambo.

Eventually, the Queens stretched their lead to 35- 16 at the end of the third quarter.

It was a competitive end but Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa had the audacity to make more changes including introducing shooter Jessica Mazengera-Sanudi and wing attacker Thandie Galeta.

The Gems of Zimbabwe had their moments too, with the likes of goal shooter Tafadzwa Mwango causing trouble to Queens’ defence as she was getting fed by Beula Mhungane.

Goalkeeper Priscilla Ndlovu and goal defender Claris Kwaramba also cut some passes to frustrate Queens’ attacks.

The visitors were also probably undone by the impressive supporters who kept on cheering the team.

Chawinga-Kaluwa was delighted with her side’s performance but insisted the Queens were still under construction.

“We worked hard to win and, of course, there are some areas which need polishing up,” she said.

On Sunday, Malawi beat Namibia 60-23 whereas Zimbabwe defeated Namibia 48-36.

Namibia recovered on Tuesday when they beat Zimbabwe 38-34.

In under-19 matches, Malawi junior side defeated their Namibia counterparts 43-32 yesterday while Zimbabwe also beat Namibia 40-23.

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