Winless at Fast5
Malawi Queens, deflated by Mwawi Kumwenda’s absence, failed to match their record when they finished last and winless in all six games at the 2014 Fast5 World Netball Series yesterday in New Zealand.
The absence of star shooter Mwawi, who opted not to travel with the team, was greatly felt as her replacement Loreen Ngwira was seemingly nervous and lacked confidence as the Queens lost twice to South Africa 33-30 and 30-22 yesterday in a preliminary round then the last fifth/sixth place play-off at the Vector Arena.
In the fifth and sixth place play-off, Malawi, who got punished for failing to use their power play time as they scored two and single pointers, trailed 6-4 to South Africa in the first quarter, 14-11 in the second, 23-17 in the third before crashing out.
Malawi, with new comers such as Martha Dambe in action, also lost 49-26, 29-28, 42-39, 35-33 to New Zealand, Jamaica, England and Australia on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Towera Vinkhumbo and Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira were solid in defence, but centre court play and finishing was a big let down with scoring responsibility resting on goal attacker Sindi Simtowe who lacked support. Malawi lost possession in the centre and it got worse as Loreen Ngwira seemed uncomfortable shooting often passing to the overworked Simtowe.
The sooner Malawi coach Mary Waya finds a plan B for the seemingly indispensable Mwawi, the better. Malawi finished fifth in this tournament last year.
This year’s tournament ended yesterday with the hosts and Australia among the favourites.