Najma advance to Gulf handball final | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Najma advance to Gulf handball final

TDT | Manama                                        

The Daily Tribune –   

Bahrain’s Al Najma advanced to the gold medal game of the 39th Gulf Clubs Men’s Handball Championship last night following a resounding 35-25 victory over Sharjah SC of the UAE in the semi-finals.

The game was played at the Khalifa Sports City Arena in Isa Town.

Najma will next take on Kuwait SC of Kuwait in the gold medal match.

The Kuwaitis ousted Al Arabi of Qatar 25-21 in yesterday’s other final-four fixture. The championship-decider is scheduled to be held tomorrow evening at the same venue, starting at 6pm.

Sharjah and Kuwait SC will battle for the bronze medals at 4pm.

Najma were in dominant form the opening throw last night and quickly took control of the contest, going ahead 10-5 midway through the first half.

The Bahrainis maintained a comfortable lead heading into the half, going up 18-11 following an Ahmed Alahmer penalty right before the interval.

In the final 30-minute period, Najma continued their fine play and went ahead by double digits, eventually closing the contest out in style to secure their place in the title-decider.

Playing key roles for the defending Gulf and Bahrain league champions were goalkeeper Mohammed Abdulhussain, Mohammed Habib Mohammed, Mohammed Mirza, Ahmed Al Maqabi, Qassim Qambar, Qassim Al Shuwaikh and Hassan Kaddah, a standout of the Egyptian national handball team along with Alahmer.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s other club in the tournament, Al Ahli, defeated Kuwait’s Al Salmiya Club 32-26 in a classification contest yesterday.

Ahli are already out of the running for the title, but are hoping to claim their best final classification. They will play another game tonight against Al Ahli Sidab of Oman, who won against Al Safa of Saudi Arabia 35-34 in another classification contest yesterday. Salmiya and Safa will face off.

Najma won last year’s Gulf handball crown after defeating Saudi outfit Mudhar in the tournament final in Kuwait City. It was the sixth time the Bahraini side claimed the coveted championship. Their triumph also ended a two-decade title drought, as their previous victories came in 2001, 1998, 1990, 1985 and 1984.