Netball: Malawi snatch place in quarter-finals


Malawi clung on to beat Wales 55-52 and secure a place in the netball world championship quarterfinals.

In a nail-biting encounter to find second place behind New Zealand in pool A, Malawi made a crucial break early to lead 16-10 after the first quarter, a lead they weren't to relinquish.

The lead was 29-23 at halftime as captain Peace Chawinga and goal attack Mary Waya proved adept at feeding the ball to tall, accurate shooter Linda Magombo.

Welsh changes saw them apply more pressure in the third quarter. Shooters Rebecca James and Amanda Evans steadily narrowed the score to 42-39. But Malawi controlled possession in the final minutes.

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Barbados found their best form at the Netball World Championship to dispatch Malaysia 62-38 in the battle of the winless pool D teams yesterday.

Both sides had lost to England and South Africa, who have confirmed their places in the quarter-finals.

Barbados found the battling Malaysian side worthy opponents in the first quarter, building a narrow 16-14 lead. They picked up the pace with some telling defence and more speed about the court to stretch their advantage to 10 goals by halftime.

A strong third quarter, in which Barbados shot 15 of 16 attempts, put the result beyond doubt at three-quarter time, with the Malaysians trailing 32-48.

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Samoa had to work hard in front of a partisan court 1 crowd, with the scores tied 10-10 after 15 minutes and Trinidad and Tobago ahead 16-14 at halftime. They maintained that margin in the third quarter and went into the last spell with a 38-36 lead.

Both teams put their bodies on the line and Samoan captain Frances Solia said the fact that there was so much at stake meant the battle was torrid right down to the final whistle.

Samoa were poised under pressure but could still improve, captain and former Silver Fern Linda Vagana said, however "it's good practice going into our quarter-final against Jamaica".

Samoa's 7-1 burst early in the final stanza gave them a lead they clung to.

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Elaine Davis limped on to the Netball World Championship's list of walking wounded as the Sunshine Girls topped Pool C with a 91-35 demolition of Singapore. Davis wrenched her left ankle when attempting to grab a lobbed pass five seconds from the end of the third quarter and gingerly left the arena with assistance from her successor, goalshoot Romelda Aitken.

A 13-year veteran of international netball, Davis is expected to be fit for Thursday's quarter-final against Samoa, though the 31-year-old is generally on the periphery these days.

Jamaica led 47-21 at halftime and held their impetus to dominate the third quarter 20-5, despite Davis missing five relatively simple shots.

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