7th for queens 

7th for queens 

Malawi Queens yesterday survived Wales’ early scare to triumph 62-56 and finish seventh at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Inspired by their gangly shooter Betsy Creak, who converted baskets without breaking sweat, Wales started at full throttle and attacked with flair and fervour to lead 17-13 in the first quarter.

But after shaking off some early lethargy, the Queens imposed themselves totally in the second quarter in which Australia-based goal-shooter Mwawi Kumwenda was the conductor of their orchestra.

The gangly player, who missed only one attempt, set up an exhibition of her magical skills, proving why she is considered one of the best netballers in the world.

Lwazi-Mtonga (R) in previous action against Wales

The introduction of goal-attacker Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya, turned the game around with her cultured distribution to Kumwenda.

Slowly but surely, Malawi reduced the deficit and then turned the tables around to lead 30-28 at half time.

By the end of third quarter, Malawi, ranked seventh in the world, were in cruise control against their eighth ranked opponents and led 48-41.

Wales tried to bounce back in the last quarter in which they started at full throttle, but the Queens kept their nerve to win the match by a six-basket margin win.

It was a solace for their disappointing result against Uganda’s She-Cranes who beat them 56-43 the previous day.

In a post-match interview, Kumwenda said the win does not in any way make up for their loss to Uganda.

She said: “We could have done better against Uganda. We should not be competing for the seventh place. It should give us food for thought going forward.

“All in all, I think the girls did the best they could only that we were up against well organised teams.”

Malawi’s results at the Commonwealth Games mean they will be stuck on seventh position in world rankings.

They also have to go through qualifying stages for the 2023 Netball World Cup which will for the first time be held on African soil in South Africa.

Malawi finished fourth with four points in six-team Group B after winning  two matches against Northern Ireland and Trinidad and Tobago.

They lost to England, New Zealand and Uganda.

Queens starting line-up: Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda (goalkeeper), Carol Mtukule-Ngwira (goal defender), Bridget Kumwenda (wing attacker), Takondwa Lwazi-Mtonga (Centre), Martha Dambo (wing defender), Jane Chimaliro (goal attacker), Kumwenda (goal shooter).

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