Malawi netball export Laureen Ngwira has expressed delight at winning the Player-of-the-Match award on Monday when she inspired her English club Team Northumbria to a 47-42 victory over UWS Sirens.
This was Ngwira’s first individual award since she joined the English top-flight league side and made her debut for Northumbria two months ago. This was also Northumbria’s first home win in 2018.
The lofty Malawi Queens’ defender-cum-shooter grabbed the award while playing as a goalkeeper and it is a rare feat for one to emerge player-of-the-match in such position.
“I am enjoying my game here and I am happy to have won my first individual accolade in the foreign land,” she said.
In a video interview posted on Team Northumbria Netball Superleague Facebook page, Ngwira attributed her outstanding performance to the honing of her defensive skills by her coach TeAorha Keenan.
“It feels good to win the award and help my team win. We did not do well in the first round and we had to push hard in this particular game. My coach helps me a lot to improve my skills every day and in this match I had to prove it on the court,” she said.
According to www.northumbriasport.com, the outfit had been patiently waiting for a home win in the 2018 Superleague season.
“Team Northumbria’s loyal fans could have been forgiven for thinking it might never happen. But four months into the Superleague season, the club’s patient supporters were finally treated to a first homecourt win of 2018,” it explained.
“It might have been a long time coming but in the end this was a victory that reflected a team beginning to gel and starting to believe… from the outset, the home side sought to set the tone with a game built on stifling defence.”
Ngwira is Malawi’s third professional netball player after Mwawi Kumwenda and Joyce Mvula, who play for Melbourne Vixens in Australia and Manchester Thunder in England, respectively. n