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Queens scrape through

Malawi 53 Namibia 44

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Peace Chawinga Kaluwa

Malawi National Netball Team, the Queens, survived Africa Netball Cup hosts, Namibia, heat after scrapping through with a 53-44 win at Wanderers Sports Club in Windhoek Sunday.

The game exposed Malawi Queens’ lack of depth as Namibia matched the second ranked team in Africa in all areas in the first two quarters.

This was a team they defeated 64-43 in Pent Series but the Malawians avoided defeat after the tables turned.

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For the first time since the competition started, Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa made two changes to the team that started all the previous five games.

First Choice Tigresses duo Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya and Chimaliro and Shira Dimba, respectively. Flora Chipeta replaced Jane

It was a balanced affair, with Queens narrowly leading 12-11 and 24-23 in the first and second quarters.

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Realising danger, the Queens brought back the regulars, taking off the replacements.

At some point, Malawi’s top shooter Joyce Mvula was also taken off as she missed the target but she was later brought back into the team.

However, the Queens were a changed side in the third quarter and it was largely due to the defensive trio of Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Carol Mtukule-Ngwira and Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango that intercepted and delivered telling passes.

The third quarter ended 42-33 in favour of the Queens. Malawi wrapped up the game in the fourth quarter, winning 53-44.

Chawinga-Kaluwa admitted Namibia gave them a scare.

“It was a tough game indeed but Malawi withstood the heat and we have won.

We made a tactical change whereby we wanted those that run fast to start but we had a problem whereby Joyce missed some shoots which made us to be at par with Namibia. It forced us to change and we brought the ones we opted to rest,” she said.

Chawinga-Kaluwa said they would approach this morning’s game against Tanzania seriously as they will face Uganda tomorrow in a match that will likely determine who finishes in the top two.

“We just need to play a fast game against Tanzania because they play a slow game so it will be difficult for us. We discussed that we need to change and rest some of the players because after tomorrow [today] we are having a very big game which requires the girls to rest,” she said.

“The temperature here is quite high and when the girls play for an hour it really affects them. Our eyes are on Uganda’s game so we will try to rest some players and try others as well. If we fail to do that, then, the others will start before changing them,” she said.

Queens have played six games but lost once to rivals South Africa.

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