Joyce Mvula on Saturday showed no mercy to fellow Malawi Queens star Laureen Ngwira as she helped her English club Manchester Thunder thrash Ngwira’s outfit London Pulse 71-42 in the Vitality Netball Superleague.
The result has confined Pulse to the bottom of the 10-team log table with six points from 15 games, a feat that might send the English top-flight league newcomers to the relegation gallows at the end of the season as they remain with only three games to complete their fixtures.
This was the second time that Mvula’s team has inflicted pain in Ngwira’s outfit as they triumphed 62-47 in their first meeting in February.
The victory was pivotal in Thunder’s bid to keep their title hopes alive as they now have a better chance to finish within the top four bracket and grab a spot in the coveted semi-finals.
Currently, they are tied on 36 points with Wasps at the top of the table. Team Bath, Loughborough Lightening and Saracens Mavericks complete the top-five on 33, 30 and 27 points, respectively.
Thunder’s latest victory, which saw them lead 19-12 in the first quarter before increasing the tally to 35-25 and 53-36 in the subsequent segments, came on the back of a 47-50 defeat by Severn Stars.
A match report on Thunder’s website www.manchesterthunder.co.uk stated that the first half saw Thunder take an early lead but it wasn’t until the second half, and the final quarter in particular, when the Black and Yellows began to rack up the goals to increase that all important goal difference at the top of the table.
“Joyce Mvula took her spot at GS as Eleonar Cardwell [in the second half] rested after a solid first-half performance,” the website described Mvula’s impact in the game. “The third quarter saw Thunder stretch out a strong lead and it was becoming apparent that Pulse would be unable to make up the deficit.”
Nevertheless, Pulse defender Ngwira was among outstanding players in the game despite her team’s loss.
The report explained: “[Thunder’s] Liana Leota shut down the centre court well and shooters Cardwell and Turner held their own against a feisty defensive duo in the form of England Rose Ama Agbeze and Loreen Ngwira.