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Same old song

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Malawi Queens’ dream of breaking into the top-four at the Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia vanished painfully after a humiliating 62-63 defeat to Jamaica at Allphones Arena on Friday.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls sealed their semi-final berth, whereas the Queens will now likely face Wales today in a fifth/sixth place play-offs. The loser might face either South Africa or Uganda tomorrow.

During yesterday’s game, the debate had centred on New Zealand-based shooter, Mwawi Kumwenda, but it was goal attacker, Sindie Simtowe, who in her 50th cap, registered 100 percent shooting accuracy.

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Jamaica took an early lead; Sasher-Gaye Henry was instrumental in midcourt, getting the ball quickly to Romelda Aiken and Shanice Beckford in the circle as the Queens defenders struggled.

Malawi centre, Takondwa Lwazi, masterminded the Queens’ fight-back with quick turnovers in the second quarter.

Then the Queens’ coach, Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, made a tactical change in the injury time dropping goal keeper, Towera Vinkhumbo- Nyirenda, for Loreen Ngwira to keep Aiken at bay.

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Jamaica led 19-13 and 38-29 in the first and second quarters. The start of the third term saw Anna Kay Griffiths taking over from Beckford in attack and Vangelee Williams giving Facey a rest in defence, while Queens made no changes.

Jamaica’s substitution worked in Malawi’s favour as they dominated the third quarter and put 17 point on the board to Jamaica’s 10.

Simtowe created space and movement in the circle for the competition’s leading shooter, Kumwenda, to put 13 points on the board at 100% accuracy to slash Jamaica’s margin to two goals heading into the final term.

Malawi led the final quarter 16-15, but it wasn’t enough.

Jamaica’s vice-captain, Paula Thompson told the competition’s website that it was “discipline” that gave them their semi-final ticket.”

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