Australia-based Malawian shooter Mwawi Kumwenda finally returned to action for Melbourne Vixens in a game against West Coast Fever on Sunday, a year after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
The former Kukoma Diamonds top-notch shooter contributed three baskets in the last three minutes she played as her team beat West Coast Fever 64-52
Mwawi, who missed the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, UK, said she was happy to be given the run late in the game as she took to her Facebook page, saying: “The best three minutes of my life! Go Vixens.”
Part of a report carried by The Sydney Morning Herald (www.smh.com.au), reads: “Goal keeper Emily Mannix was named player-of-the-match for her work against Fever spearhead Jhaniele Fowler, and shooters Caitlin Thwaites [32/33] and Tegan Philip [29/32] excelled in an attack end that also featured a late cameo from Mwawi Kumwenda in her return from a ruptured ACL.
“The level dropped away in a third quarter the Fever claimed 15-12 and head coach Simone McKinnis said the ability to execute across the full 60 minutes was still being sought.
“But the feel-good element of a successful afternoon was the return of Kumwenda, who was injured in Perth against the same opponent 12 months ago.”
The publication further reports that the Malawian netball icon waved to the crowd upon her introduction with just over four minutes remaining and pulled in a high ball straight away before converting the first of her three goals.
“You have no idea how nervous she was,’’ McKinnis said.
“Everyone was so excited for her and even though it’s only a couple of minutes, it’s a big step for her.’’
Mwawi was initially named in the team’s squad for the game against Adelaide Thunderbirds the previous weekend, but sat out on the bench.
Vixens lie third with 61 points, one behind Lightening and four behind league leaders Swifts in the eight-team league.
The lofty shooter’s recent announcement that she would return to action for her club stirred controversy in the local netball circles, with some wondering why she was bouncing back barely a few days after the Queens complted their 2019 Netball World Cup campaign in England where they finished sixth.