Malawi Queens earned a comfortable 60-34 win against Zambia’s She-polopolo at the Diamonds Challenge Netball Series in South Africa on Thursday evening to secure a slot in Friday’s finals at the Ugu Sports Centre in Margate.
With 15-8, 27-18 and 46-24 leads in the first three-quarters, it was obvious the Queens were on their way to glory and, as expected, they wrapped it up in an extraordinary fashion to qualify for the finals against South Africa this evening.
For once, the Queens managed an overall 87 percent shooting accuracy and shooter Sindi Simtowe bagged K120 000 prize (R3 000) for emerging as ‘player-of-the-match.
Nevertheless, the Queens had a shaky start to this do-or-die encounter that saw them give away a three-basket lead in the first-quarter. But Joyce Mvula and Simtowe managed to get the team on track, netting the ball with almost every attempt.
In this quarter, the Queens did not play with consistency and could lose the ball easily but, at least, as compared to their Wednesday’s encounter against South Africa’s SPAR Proteas, which ended 33-43, they could find enough space to maneuver and score with style.
Wing attacker Thandi Galeta was also effective with her feeding role to the shooters.
The Malawi National Netball team doubled the lead at the start of the third-quarter and the Zambians had to fight tooth and nail to reduce the arrears before the whistle to put the score-line at 46-24.
With such a comfortable lead, coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua had the luxury of substituting GS Mvula in the final-quarter for diminutive attacker Ellen Chiboko, who swapped the bib with GA Simtowe.
“Our players, in particular, the shooters, were excellent today. This was a wonderful performance. The ball is now in our court to triumph in the finals,” said Peace Chawinga-Kalua in an interview monitored on Digital Satellite Television’s (DStv) SuperSport 4.
Queens’ line-up was as follows: Joyce Mvula (Ellen Chiboko)(GS), Sindi Simtowe (GA), Thandi Galeta (Rose Mkanda) (WA), Takondwa Lwazi (C), Joana Kachilika (Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango)(WD), Carol Mtukule-Ngwira (GD), Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda (GK).- Pics by Netball South Africa