Junior Queens take silver

Junior Queens take silver

Malawi Junior Queens have settled for silver at the Netball World Youth Cup Africa Qualifiers in South Africa after losing 45-26 to the hosts Baby Proteas in the final at the University of Pretoria yesterday.

However, the 19-basket defeat is improved result for Malawi team who in the group stages lost 44-19, a 25 basket margin.

“We are happy with the overall performance of our girls. It was a 50-50 affair. Although we had some issues with umpiring, they fought to the end,” said Junior Queens assistant coach Cecilia Mtukule-Bondwe.

“They applied all the strategies to win the balls off the South Africans. But the most important thing is that we are proud to have achieved our goal of qualifying for the World Youth Cup.”

Junior Queens (in red and black) in action against South Africa

Yesterday, the Junior Queens appeared well-prepared for their rivals as they came into the game with some quick-pass action but most of their attacks could hardly meander through the Baby Proteas defence. As a result, it was the hosts that took a 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In spite of that, Malawi, with Stella Matellazi and Florence Jeke roaming under the loop, did their best to penetrate South Africa’s defensive line and score some vital baskets that helped the Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji-coached side to reduce the hosts’ lead by a single basket for the second quarter to end 20-14.

It was a flurry of misplaced passes and missed scoring opportunities in the third stanza that cost them the game as the Baby Proteas scored five unanswered baskets at the start of the segment. By the time the Junior Queens rectified their mistakes, the South Africans had already increased their tally by 13 baskets as they led 32-19.

With height advantage waving a magic wand for the South Africans, the Junior Queens were out of sorts in the fourth quarter. Most of their aerial attacks were stifled and they were only left with the option of making some subtle quick passes that ate their energy as the clock ticked away towards a 19-basket loss.

All the same, the Junior Queens are among the three African teams that have qualified for the Netball World Youth Cup finals in Gilbrator next year alongside South Africa and Zambia.

The post Junior Queens take silver first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Junior Queens take silver appeared first on The Nation Online.