Australia-based Malawian shooter Mwawi Kumwenda was in top form as she inspired her side Melbourne Vixens who found an extra gear when it mattered most to grind out a tough 50-43 victory over the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball.
Kumwenda joined Caitlin Thwaites in the goal circle as the Vixens looked for answers, the attacking combination doing enough to earn a narrow second-quarter win but Adelaide enjoyed a 24-20 edge at the main break.
The 30-year-old lofty shooter, who was sidelined for a year due to a knee, attributed the victory to hard work and team work.
A match report on Suncorp Super Netball website says Melbourne dominated the fourth period 14-7 on Wednesday night after scores were level at 36-36.
Goal keeper Emily Mannix completed an outstanding four-quarter performance with eight intercepts, falling one short of equalling her league record for intercepts in a game, to go with 10 deflections.
The first half turned into a battle of the goal keepers with Mannix starring for the Vixens and Shamera Sterling continuing her stellar form despite receiving attention for an ankle problem late in the opening quarter.
Melbourne fought their way to the front with a run of five unanswered goals in the third quarter, Liz Watson coming into the game after a quiet first half, but the Thunderbirds responded to level the scores ahead of the crucial final quarter.
But the Vixens’ experience shone through as Kumwenda and Kate Moloney each won turnovers, allowing Thwaites and Tegan Philip to combine for the first seven goals as Adelaide imploded.
Kumwenda told Nyasa Times that it was a tough match as Thunderbirds have been playing some really good netball and credit to them.
“They are playing good netball but thanks to God for this victory,” said the Malawi Queens goal shooter.