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Dar Kulaib pip Al Ahli

DAR Kulaib and Muharraq booked berths in the Goys President Volleyball Cup final, following respective victories over Al Ahli and Al Najma at the Juffair Youth Centre last night.

In the first semi-final match, Bahrain's national volleyball team trio - spiker Mirza Abdulla, playmaker Mahmood Hassan and libero Ayman Haroona - led Dar Kulaib to a 25-10, 22-25, 28-26, 25-20 win over Al Ahli.

In their final match, scheduled for Wednesday at 7pm, Dar Kulaib will clash with former champions Muharraq who edged title holders Al Najma 25-20, 21-25, 26-24, 25-22.

Under their Bahraini coach Ibrahim Ali who joined the club recently, Dar Kulaib were also inspired by Mohammed Habib, Mahmood Saeed, Isa Hassan and Ali Mohammed.

Al Ahli, the surprise team of the tournament, were heavily relying on their new-signing national team star spiker Sadeq Ibrahim who recently joined the club from league champions Al Nasser.

Coached by Reda Ali who also signed for the club from Al Nasser, Al Ahli comprised of young and experienced players like veteran playmaker Aref Al A'ali, Ali Abdulamir, Ali Al Sairafi, Sayed Bader Isa, Sayed Khodar and libero Ibrahim Al Haiki.

Muharraq took a major step towards regaining the title they won in 2006 edition cup, beating defending champions Al Najma in a four-set thriller.

The Mohammed Al Murbati-coach Muharraq proved the better of the two sides as they put up a spirited show and took the match deservedly.

Over two-metre giant Fadel Abbas, who won the best blocker award at the Arab Championship hosted by Bahrain last year in December, led Muharraq to this tough victory.

Others who spearheaded Muharraq yesterday were playmaker Fadel Ali besides spikers Sayed Ali Ashoor, Osama Isa, Mubarak Al Haiki, libero Rashid Al Haiki and Thai international Wanchai Taborises who is making his second season for the club.

Al Najma, on the other hand, were unable to match the strength and experience of Muharraq players as they saw their bid of winning this prestigious tournament for the third consecutive time go up in smoke.

Coached by Ghazi Abdulla, who recently replaced Algeria's Al Zaytouni, Al Najma were led by national team captain Ibrahim Nesaif who led Bahrain to win the Arab Championship.

Al Najma were had big hopes on Poland's spiker Adrian besides veteran Hisham Dawood, Ali Marhoon, Saleh Mahdi, Mahmood Jassim, playmaker Hussain Habib and libero Jaffer Abdulnabi.

The final match will be followed by the awarding ceremony. It will be held under the patronage of General Organisation for Youth and Sports (Goys) president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

Meanwhile, the Bahrain Volleyball Association (BVA) yesterday announced the schedule of the eight-team Bahrain Premier Division Volleyball League which gets underway on Sunday.

Defending champions Al Nasser will clash with promoted club A'ali in the inaugural match at 6.15pm, to be followed by Al Shabab clash with last year's runners-up Busaiteen at 7.45pm.



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