The national finals of  thePresidential Netball Championship rolled into action yesterday at Kumudzi Centre in Lilongwe.

Kukoma Diamonds began their title-defence campaign on a high note by beating their group-A counterparts Mimosa Queens 35-11 and Prison Sisters 36-28.

Flashback: Diamonds’ Mtukule-Ngwira (R) presents the Presidential trophy to their sponsors during the send-off

“We are happy to have a good start to our title defence bid despite the fact that we played without some of our key players Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda and Sheila Dimba, who will join  us tomorrow [today],” said Diamonds coach Griffin Saenda.

In what could be described as match of the day, Thunder Queens maintained their newly-found winning formula to grant Blue Eagles their first defeat in two years with a 33-23 beating in group B, which also has Green Sisters.

Thunder Queens’ coach Christina Mkwanda-Nsinji, whose side made history last weekend by beating Tigresses 43-39 in the Rainbow Paints League for the first time in eight years, said they will keep up the fighting spirit in their next games.

In group-C, Tigresses narrowly beat Mafco Soldiers 25-23. Alliance Capital Stars are the other team in the group.

Group D has Civonets, Karonga Sisters and Lameck Queens.

According to Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu, the three-day finals will see top-two teams from each group making it into the quarter-finals today. The finals will be played tomorrow.

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