Cup still half full for Lions

By Danny Caro, October 19, 2011

The rachmanus spirit is regularly talked about in Jewish sport. There was first-hand evidence of it last weekend when London Maccabi Lions took part in the prestigious Sunday FA Cup.

With joint-managers Josh and Malcolm Newman unavailable, it was left to the wise, old heads of David Kyte and Jon Green to lead the team. The pair stepped up after it looked as the club would have to forfeit the tie with a plethora of regulars missing.

The club's senior management took the view that they were proud to enter the competition and needed to do "whatever it takes" to fulfil the fixture.

They arrived in Newmarket for the match against The Falcons with four A-team regulars, four 17-year-olds, plus veterans Aviel Schwarz, Andy Landesberg, Kyte and Green - a group with long memories of glory days and a combined age of approximately 201.

The Falcons went on to win 12-1, but Green explained the logic behind putting out a team. "Falcons are a high quality team most of whose players currently play at semi-pro level and would have been a serious test for the strongest possible Lions side.

"Given our problems this week, our priorities were to play the game, to introduce some of our best juniors to Saturday-standard senior football and to make this a positive experience for everyone.

"The 10-1 scoreline was a fair reflection of the difference in fitness and in class but I cannot fault the effort, determination and sheer hard work shown by every single Lions player."

I'm sure that the youngsters will feel the benefits in the long-term.

● I'm always amazed when I hear about our golden oldies coming up trumps in various sports. Step up Norman Bright. He has just become the National Cycling champion for his age group, aged 74. Norman, from Stoke Newington, won the Over-70 category on the course recently used for the National Championships of Great Britain.

● Trials for the new Maccabi Futsal Club get under way at Parmiters in Garston on Sunday. Following the success stories surrounding Jonathan Kurrant and Russell Goldstein, it will be interesting to see if any players from the lower echelons of the MSFL step up to the plate as there is clearly some top talent there this season.

Last updated: 11:45am, October 19 2011