MUHARRAQ last night grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat and deservingly claimed the Bahrain Volleyball Association Cup beating Dar Kulaib in a five-set thriller at the Khalifa Sports City in Isa Town yesterday.
It was a two-hour 17-minute see-saw battle which went to the wire much to the joy of an appreciative and vociferous crowd.
Dar Kulaib held an upper hand in the first two sets and even raised hopes of a major upset as they were urged on by their passionate supports donned in blue t-shirts and, more importantly, armed with a microphone through which they screamed their sincere support and encouragement.
But in the end what mattered was pedigree and Muharraq underlined this fact with an emphatic comeback victory 22-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-11 in a fitting finale.
Dar Kulaib were off the blocks in style and were 20-13 ahead and though Muharraq staged a mini rally winning five successive points, they could not prevent their opponents from sealing the first set in 25 minutes.
Dar Kulaib carried that momentum into the second set and stayed ahead right though before going 2-0 up.
But Muharraq were in no mood to give up. They neither let their shoulders droop nor were willing to throw in the towel. The determination on their faces was stark and they almost seemed to thrive under pressure.
They dug themselves out of a deep hole with equal amounts of perseverance and patience.
In the crucial third set, Muharraq were a nose ahead and nursed that small lead with growing confidence.
Dar Kulaib equalised 16-16 but Muharraq found that extra gear when it mattered the most and scored three unanswered points to race to 19-16 before winning the set 25-20 to bounce back into title contention.
They maintained that impetus in the fourth set though repeated serving errors was causing them much distress. They lost crucial points by serving either too long or too wide.
But their self belief was incredible as they found a way out of every crisis by some clever spiking or deft drops.
Muharraq were cautious in the fourth set as they build a 15-10 lead with some carefully planned attacking moves. But Dar Kulaib bounced back and stringed together some precious points to equalise at 22-22.
Dar Kulaib even saved a set point but could not prevent Muharraq from snatching the set 25-23 and taking the match into the decider.
In the decider, Muharraq were in a class of their own. They raced to a 8-5 lead and though Dar Kulaib rallied to narrow it to 8-9 at one stage, they could not prevent their opponents from running away to a deserving victory 15-11.