After both suffering losses to New Zealand, the Barbados Gems and Malawi locked horns today and it was the southeastern African nation that emerged 65-41 winners in the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.
Both teams had previously beaten Singapore so today’s match-up gave them the chance to rebound from their Kiwi thrashing and register a second win in the tournament.
Malawi got off to a shaky start from a delayed centre pass, and consequently Joyce Mvula failed to convert their first shooting opportunity into a goal. Barbados were quick to react and within seconds Shonica Wharton scored the first goal of the match. However Malawi soon regained possession and directed the ball back to their own shooting-circle where Mvula got Malawi off the mark.
The first five minutes continued in an even pattern, before Malawi stepped up their centre-court intensity and began to dominate. Takondwa Lwazi controlled Malawi’s shooting circle, receiving and feeding balls into Mvula and Jane Chimaliro, who scored nine goals with no response, contributing to a Malawian lead of 17-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Their first quarter performance ensured a confident start to the second by the Queens, and Mvula and Chimaliro continued to build their advantage. Barbados’ duo Sheniqua Thomas and Shonica Wharton were on form in front of the net, but quick movement between Lawzi and Thandie Galletta in particular allowed Malawi to extend their lead to 35-20 at the break.
Barbados saw possession overturned early in the third quarter, when a superb Lawzi interception triggered a Malawian attack which would end in a superbly-executed Mvula goal.
The Gems’ shooters continued to be a force to be reckoned with, however, Malawi were taking full advantage of the amount of penalties awarded in the attacking third, extending their lead further and again winning the quarter 17-11.
Chimaliro was substituted early in the final quarter, and Malawi looked to tire slightly as Thomas and Blackman continued to shoot well to ensure that the last 15 minutes would be the closest quarter of the match. Despite the late Barbadian rally though, Malawi had enough in the locker to get over the line comfortably, by a scoreline of 65-41.
Wharton had 15 goals from 18 attempts, Thomas scored 12 from 16 and Blackman had 11 goals from 13 attempts. For Malawi, Mvula scored 31 goals from 33 attempts, Chimarliro had 23 goals from 25 attempts and Alinafe Kamwala chipped in with eight goals from eleven attempts. (NWC/WG)