'It's not that we under-estimated them. It's just they were better than we thought." That famous quote by the late and great Sir Bobby Robson reared it's head on Sunday when North London Raiders A played Hendon United Sports Club A.
Having tipped David Garbacz's men for the title before the season got under way, part of me was glad that I was there to see what was a truly exhilarating performance. I would go as far as saying that it was the most complete and professional display I have seen at MSFL level for many a season. It really ticked every box with no weak links from 1-11.
And it would have been much worse had it not been for the heroics of young goalkeeper Dan Cohen.
Summer signings Ben Lauffer and Danny Kon have helped take the team to another level. Lauffer is simply a class act. His big match experience from European and Maccabiah Games, as well as the South Midlands League, have added another dimension to the team.
But it was the performance of hotshot Kon that impressed the most. For one so young, he's got so much in his locker. It was the first time I've seen him in action and I have to say that I was hugely impressed. He's quick, strong and a real handful. Not many managers would reflect so positively on the performance of a rival but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I think it's safe to say that whoever finishes above Hendon will win the league. Garbacz is trying to keep his team focused. He said: "Things are going well at the moment although we know that nothing is won in November."
● Three officials from the JC MSFL will line up at Wembley Stadium later this month to take charge of a match held for media, competition winners and business partners to celebrate ESPN's coverage of the FA Cup. Warwick Blake, the double Maccabi League Referee of the Year, will be joined by assistant-referees Dan Cohen and Laurence Thorne. A range of ESPN's football pundits and commentators plus some other special guests are also involved with Ray Stubbs hosting the event on the day.
● The final word goes to Norman Bright – a pensioner with a difference. Having cycled for 36 miles in the Cheviot Hills west of Newcastle, the 74-year-old has just become the TLI National Road Race champion.
Bright said: "I don't do it for the money, but it would be nice if other Jews followed my lead by getting fitter."