Malawi netballer Joyce Mvula on Saturday helped Manchester Thunder to a convincing 84-65 victory over fellow Super League club Team Northumbria in a pre-season encounter.
Mvula joined the English club from Blue Eagles Sisters last month to become the first Malawian netballer to play in Europe.
A match report on the club’s website www.manchesterthunders.com praised Mvula for a solid performance during her first home game appearance.
“New Malawian signing Joyce Mvula also got her first taste of playing in front of a home crowd, as she put in an assured and comfortable performance,” it reads.
The report also hoped that young players would learn a lot from the Malawian.
“Young players Leia Griffin and Ellie Smith will benefit from their time on court and learning from Mvula, who impressed with her movement and shooting accuracy,” it added.
In an interview, the Queens shooter said she enjoyed the game.
“It was a good game. I played as a goal shooter and slotted in a number of goals,” the towering Mvula said.
According to the report, the game, rather than the usual four quarters, was played out over six quarters, four of 15 minutes each while the final two were 10 minutes each.
“This was to allow coaches from both Super League sides to give each of their players a solid run out ahead of the new season, which starts in two weeks’ time,” it stated.
Mvula, who played the whole game, said unlike in Malawi, the games are not characterised with massive physical contact.
“But the pace of the game here is faster than in Malawi. I am quickly adjusting though,” she said.
Thunder head coach Karen Craig said she was impressed with her team’s performance: “On the whole we put up a really good performance but there were times where we got tired and had to change the combinations. We stuck to game plan but we just need to tidy up our basic skills.” n