There was another significant twist in the Joan Collins Premier Division this weekend as Manchester Maccabi defeated Republic of Mancunia 4-1 to seize back the initiative in the title race.
Republic needed to win their final game of the season but their treble hopes are now hanging by a thread following a sensational performance from Maccabi.
Just a draw would have secured the title for Republic in their final game of the season, but their treble hopes are now hanging by a thread following a sensational performance from Maccabi
In a tight and edgy half, Josh Hayes put Maccabi ahead just before the break with a superb strike when he dribbled past two players and fired home.
Max Rose doubled the lead within a few minutes as he struck a shot which went through the hands of Republic goalkeeper Mike Hershmann, who had pulled off some superb saves.
But Republic came out fighting in the second period, with Dave Eden pulling one back with a clever header from a corner within minutes of the restart.
As Republic took control of the game, a handball was given against their defender Josh Kaye in the area, and Richard Myers subsequently scored. It was a harsh blow for Republic, with Maccabi manager Martin Simons admitting that he was unsure of the penalty's validity, but he also argued that his side had a penalty appeal ignored earlier.
Within moments of the third, Hayes scored again, this time taking advantage of Hershmann spilling a cross into his path. From then on, there was no way back for Republic, whose manager Anthony Bloch admitted that Maccabi had deserved the victory.
Simons said: "They were all absolutely fantastic. It was our cup final, because Republic are our closest rivals. The players rose to the occasion. The attitude of the players was the difference. They didn't leave anything on the pitch"
Republic player-manager Anthony Bloch commented: "It is massively dejecting. They were sharper than us, fitter than us, better than us on every part of the pitch. Whoever won on the day deserved to take the title.
"It's my job to lift the lads and we can still have a lot of success at the end of the season."
Maccabi are now just two points behind Bloch's men, but only a win will do to clinch the title against Steve Davis' Westdene 1st later this month.
Elsewhere, Crumpsall cruised to a 4-0 win over Haroldeans thanks to a brace from Gary Freedman. Natan Fagelman and Shiran Kramer also struck for Zevi Saunders' men.
It was also a great weekend for Gavin Sharpe's Sporting JLGB, who crushed Westdene 2nd 7-0 in the other semi final of the Tony Cohen Memorial. Rafi Bloom scored a hat trick and Jarod Cohen bagged a brace. Akiva Lieberman and Danny Jacobs completed the rout.
Sporting have now beaten every Joan Collins Premier Division side this season, with the exception of Republic of Mancunia. This weekend they have another semi final, this time in the Shonn Trophy. Their opponents are Republic of Mancunia.