Malawi netball export Joyce Mvula on Saturday put up a wonderful display to help her English club Manchester Thunder narrowly beat defending champions Wasps 50-49 to go three points clear at the summit of the Vitality Netball Superleague.
The result of the top of the table clash means Thunder lead the 10-team log-table with 27 points from 11 matches while Wasps have dropped to third place after tying on 24 points with second-placed Saracens Mavericks, who beat Surrey Storm 58-50 last weekend.
However, the going continues to be tough for another Malawi Queens star Laureen Ngwira in the English top-flight league as her team London Pulse, which lost 51-60 to Severn Stars in their last game on March 16, remains at the bottom of the table with three points in 10 games.
In a match report posted on Thunder website www.manchesterthunder.co.uk and tweets by @thundernetball on Saturday praised Mvula for her contribution to the team’s ninth league victory this season.
The website reported: “Kerry Almond enjoyed blocking out Rachel Dunn and the defensive combination of her and Emma Dovey played a decisive role. Joyce Mvula was only too happy to reward their efforts at the other end.
“Wasps struggled to find their stride as Thunder seemed to have the upper hand and a flurry of goals in the last minute saw them leading by six goals at quarter time.”
The club tweeted: “And it’s in! Unbelievable from Thunder, they have fought for every single ball. And they take the lead! Mvula composed as ever!”
Thunder led 16-10 in the first quarter before going down 27-28 and 37-42 in the second and third segments, respectively. However, a last-quarter surge, which saw Thunder planting in 13 baskets against Wasps’ seven, was a game-changer.