Tanzania netball national team consultant Mary Waya and her Taifa Queens gave Malawi Queens a huge scare at the ongoing African Netball Championship, leaving her visiting mentor Griffin Saenda fuming over alleged ill-treatment on Wednesday.
While Malawi strolled to a 52-17 win over Zambia in their opening game at Dar es Salaamâ€™s National Stadium in the morning, Saenda was not amused with circumstances that led to the Wednesday afternoon match.
“We played the first game from 9am and the fixture had the second game at 3.30pm, but we were surprised to get a call just after having our lunch, that we had return to the court because the Tanzania game was at 2.45pm,” Saenda said in a post-match telephone interview.
“They never gave us an explanation why they rescheduled the fixture. We never rested after lunch. Fatigue also played a part. It was very tough. The presence of Waya was a big factor but a win is a win.”
Malawi held on and won in the end through Joyce Mvula and Sindi Simtowe in attack whereas Caroline Ngwira and Towera Vinkhumbo manned the defence.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Rosy Chinunda admitted that Malawi, who led by some six baskets in the first three quarters, lived dangerously especially in the last stanza.
“Waya was in full charge of the game and there is no doubt she knew us inside-out. Tanzania has improved tremendously as they have been camping for three months against 10 days for us. Waya has turned around their fortunes,” Chinunda said in a telephone interview.
The hosts walloped Lesotho 57-13 on Tuesday, the opening day of the tournament.
Teams participating in the event are hosts Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana and Uganda.
Malawiâ€™s next fixtures:
Thursday: Malawi vs Lesotho, Zimbabwe; Friday: Malawi vs Uganda, Botswana