BARBAR moved back on top of the Championship Division in the Bahrain Handball League with a 27-23 victory over Al Ettefaq at the Gulf Finance House Gym last night.
National team key player Mahmood Abdulqader, who recently recovered from a back injury, inspired Barbar to a crucial win which kept them in contention for the title. Barbar were the stronger side yesterday and took a 12-11 lead at the break.
Being coached by Rashid Sheraih of Algeria, Barbar were also led by Abdulla Ali who helped his team win their match against the league's other contenders Al Ahli 30-25 last week which revived their title hopes.
Ahmed Al Tajer, Abdulelah Jaffer, Hassan Madan, Hossam Madan, Mohammed Al Maqabi, Faisal Mohammed, Tawfeeq Al Wedaie and goalkeeper Tayseer Mohsin also spearheaded Barbar to win the full three points.
It was the sixth victory for three-time champions Barbar who completed this 12-team double round division on 24 points from 10 matches.
Barbar are three points clear of the other contenders, Al Ahli, who are presently holding second place with a tough match in hand tomorrow against Al Shabab.
If Al Ahli, the 13-time league champions, win this game they will be tied with Barbar and a decider will take place to determine the championship.
For Al Ettefaq, they had big hopes on their prominent players Ahmed Abbas and Ali Eid who made the bulk of scoring yesterday.
Under their coach Adel Al Sabba'a, Al Ettefaq were also represented by Akbar Al Marzooq, Majeed Hameed, Hussain Al Qatari, Ahmed Saeed and goalkeeper Ali Al Mutawa.
Al Ettefaq, who were handed their fifth defeat in the season, temporarily moved up to fourth with 17 points, one ahead of Al Tadamun and Al Dair who will meet today.
Meanwhile, Al Dair's concluding game of the season against Al Tadmaun is set to kick off at 7.30pm at the same venue.
Both teams are hoping to end the championship on a winning note after failing to show any major challenge in the title race.
However, whoever win today's match will have the opportunity of sharing third place overall with Al Shabab, if they lose tomorrow to Al Ahli.
Al Dair, being coached by Egypt's Ahmed Fakhri, are relying on a combination of young and experienced players like Mohammed Abdulhadi, Ali Zuhair, Mohammed Mirza, Abdulla Isa, Fadel Oun and goalkeeper Mohammed Abudlhussain.
On the other hand, Bader Mirza-coached Al Tadamon also have some quality players, including Mohammed Jawad, Ali Mirza, Ali Yousef, Ahmed Yousef, Hassan Shehab, Ahmed Makki and experienced goalkeeper Isa Salman.