This is the stuff that dreams are made of.
With the odds overwhelmingly stacked against them, the Queens yesterday basked in the global limelight when they stunned New Zealand’s Silver Ferns with a 57-53 victory at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia to revive their top-six finish hopes.
The world of sport, by its nature, has always been fascinated by feel-good stories about the biblical little David bringing down the giant that was Goliath and in the Ferns, the Queens found themselves facing the might of the heavyweight— hoping for that shock victory that would cheer the spirits of the globe and they did it spectacular fashion.
After shrugging off some early lethargy and smarting from the painful 54-52 loss to Uganda’s She-Cranes the previous day, the Queens turned on the heat as their romantic flirtation with netball on the global stage, touched new lofty heights.
They stepped into Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre court with their backs to the wall against a team ranked second in the world, but came out of it triumphant.
That was not all. To put an icing on the cake, this was Silver Ferns’ first loss at the Commonwealth Games.
As the fans held their breath with the Queens leading narrowly in the closing stages, suddenly Mwawi Kumwenda stunned New Zealand into submission.
A typically assured touch inside Ferns’ area gave her control, a drop of the shoulder and a twist to the left and then right, confused her marker as she went on to convert a priceless basket which sealed Malawi’s victory.
It was all over! And the Queens turned the arena into a theatre of celebration with their traditional mid-court jive—and, in that fleeting moment, they could not be blamed if at all they felt like flying.
It was their first win in Pool B after losses to England’s Roses and Uganda’s She Cranes and it breathed a new lease of life into their campaign.
Team captain Joana Kachilika said after the loss to Uganda they had to give in something extra.
“The loss to Uganda was really painful. It was like the end of the world to us, but then it gave us the motivation to fight our lungs out against New Zealand knowing that we had nothing to lose,” she said.
After a slow start that saw them trail 11-18 in the first quarter for the Ferns to lead 25-32 at half-time.
They trailed narrowly 41-42 at the end of the third quarter before turning it all around in the last quarter.
Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant told radionz.co.nz conceded that overall, they struggled in defence.
“We didn’t treasure it when we did get ball. We were chucking careless ball away on attack” she said.
The Queens’ next game is against Wales on Wednesday before wrapping up their Pool B games against Scotland the following day. n