Junior Queens yesterday soiled their clean record at the ongoing Africa Youth Netball Championship in Gaborone, Botswana with a 52-23 defeat by Zimbabwe.
This was Malawi’s first ever defeat by Zimbabwe in any netball competition.
The Under-21 national netball team went into yesterday’s game beaming with confidence after two successive wins against Lesotho 81-21 in the opening match and Namibia 49-30.
However, it was the Zimbabweans, who took the game to the Junior Queens; forcing them into the back-foot throughout the match. Zimbabwe led 10-6 in the first quarter before increasing the tally to 25-12 and 36-16 in the subsequent segments.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) technical director Griffin Saenda could not believe the result: “Are you sure we have lost and by that big margin to Zimbabwe? This must give us food for thought because this is a bad sign. However, it is understandable considering that the team had been in camp for only a few days.”
The result has put the Junior Queens under pressure to deliver in their next encounter against rivals South Africa this morning so as to have a realistic chance of finishing within the top-three bracket and qualify for the 2017 World Youth Netball Championship.
They will also need to win their remaining games against Uganda tomorrow and Zambia on Saturday.