Malawi Queens on Wednesday booked their semi-final place as they snatched a deserved 55-48 victory from a pulsating game in Blantyre to dump Zambia out of the African Netball Championship.
The hosts breathed fire in the last quarter to gun down much improved Zambia in an exciting encounter at jam packed Blantyre Youth Centre in the commercial city of Malawi, Blantyre.
The Queens, who won by 55-48 baskets have cruised through into the semi-finals having topped their Pool 1.
The game, which was well patrionised, saw much improved Zambia dominating the proceedings of the match despite trailing in the first quarter by 14-11 baskets.
Zambia, who had a slippery shooter in the name of Lucy Jere gave the Queens tough time but the backline of Caroline ‘Ayuda’ Ngwira and Towera Vinkhumbo picked up their game.
However, the game was very tense in the second quarter when the visitors piled up pressure forcing the two teams to be separated with a basket 26-25.
Came the third quarter, the Queens could find the rhythm as Zambia kept frustrating them.
The quarter was coming to an end it was 38-37 baskets forcing Malawi supporters to drum up much needed vociferous support to their ladies.
When Malawi Queens’s technical panel introduced Joyce Mvula and Takondwa Lwazi for Jessica Mazengera and Bridget Kumwenda, the performance improved for the better as the home team was now in control of things until the last whistle.
In post-match interviews, Malawi Queens assistant coach Mary Waya described the game as tough but vowed to defend the cup.
“It was a tough match but we are delighted that our girls put up a gallant fight until the last whistle,” said Waya.
Zambia Coach Charles Zulu said they were just unlucky not to beat Malawi but promised to come flat out during their next game.
In another match South Africa was leading Swaziland.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :