Uganda Secures Convincing Victory Over Wales in Netball World Cup 2023

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By Muhammad Dhakaba Menya

Uganda displayed an impressive performance at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town Wednesday, defeating Wales 73-56 in a thrilling Pool G encounter. Before the match, there were some changes in the She Cranes camp.

Norah Lunkuse and Christine Namulumba were replaced by Viola Asingo and Sarah Nakiyunga due to injury and medical reasons respectively. During the game, several on-court changes were also made as some players felt dizzy, and Uganda’s coach, Fred Mugerwa, suggested this might be due to malaria.

The star of the match was undoubtedly goal shooter Mary Cholhok, whose skill and strength shined throughout the first three quarters. Having honed her talents in the UK Super League, Cholhok’s nifty footwork and accurate shooting commanded the circle, allowing Uganda to maintain the lead.

Despite not being entirely satisfied with the defensive effort, Coach Mugerwa kept faith in Stella Nanfuka and Christine Nakitto, whose solid work in the Wales circle contributed to their team’s advantage. Just before halftime, Uganda made their first substitution, with Lilian Achola replacing Margret Baagala (who was suspected to have malaria) at the center. Achola, the shortest player at the World Cup with a height of 1.58 cm, added versatility to the team’s lineup. By the end of the first two quarters, the She Cranes held a comfortable nine-goal lead (36-27).

Wales attempted to slow down Cholhok’s impact by switching Ella Powell-Davies to goal defense and introducing Christina Shaw as goalkeeper in the third quarter. However, Cholhok’s dominance remained unshaken, and Uganda’s defenders Nakitto and Falidah Kadondi restricted Wales’ scoring opportunities effectively. Having contributed significantly to Uganda’s lead, Cholhok was rested at the start of the final 15 minutes, with Viola Asingo taking her place under the post. Baagala returned to the center position.

Despite a 15-all draw in the third quarter, Uganda emerged victorious over Wales, marking their first-ever World Cup win against their opponents. Speaking after the match, Coach Fred Mugerwa expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance. “It’s good because that’s what we wanted. We didn’t want to lose a game to Wales because, first of all, it would spoil our ranking. We just wanted to have that game so we remain where we are.” 

Regarding Margret Baagala’s suspected malaria case, Mugerwa expressed hope for her quick recovery. “We hope that by tomorrow she will be fully recovered. That was the main reason we substituted her because she was dizzy because of the medicine she is taking, but I think by tomorrow she will have recovered to be able to continue playing properly.” 

Wales’ goal attack, Phillipa Yarranton, acknowledged the tough match and recognized the need to address errors and missed shots before their upcoming game against Trinidad and Tobago. “Any ball we lost today, they converted straight away and we also needed to slow things down. Personally, I had a few errors and I can’t afford to miss that many shots in a game. It’s back to the drawing board and focusing on the next game. There’s not a lot of time before tomorrow’s match against Trinidad and Tobago, so it will be an early night.” 


Q1: 15-12 

Q2: 36-27 (21-15) 

Q3: 58-41 (22-14) 

Q4: 73 -56 (15-15) 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Shaffie Nalwanja (Uganda) 

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