North London to be hit by cup fever

Wingate & Finchley will host a football extravaganza over the bank holiday weekend with the Jewish FA Cup final, better know as the Peter Morrison Trophy, the showpiece match.

It’s hard to separate North West Neasden A and Hendon United A and I’m expecting a classic with end-to-end action and plenty of goals. It looks set to be a classic with some of the leading lights in Jewish football on show. On a sombre note, the match, as will all league games, will be preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of JC MSFL vice-chairman Harry Shapiro.

While Hendon boss Jonathan Kestenbaum enjoyed Pesach in Israel, Neasden finished their big match preparations with two games in the space of 24 hours. First, they beat London Maccabi Lions B 6-1 in a friendly with captain Lee Cash and striker partner Ryan Sher bagging braces with Marc Greene and Jonny Ellis adding the others.

On Monday they put out a mixed team, featuring A and B team players, against the Team England squad that is currently involved in the European Maccabi Trophy in Madrid. Gavin Stollar’s England team ran out 3-1 winners at Wingate & Finchley with a solid performance capped by goals from Adam Hakimi, David Dinkin and Neasden’s very own Daniel Levenfiche, who is cup-tied for the final.

Speaking from the airport, England head coach Gavin Stollar said: “This was the perfect game, performance and result for us before we fly to Spain. Before the trip we had a social, a training session and a friendly in which we looked a very solid, classy outfit. I feel confident in my team’s ability to compete in the competition. The squad have set a standard that I will expect when we get there.”

Sunday’s first match is the Martin Lane Under 11 final between London Maccabi Lions and Manchester Maccabi. This will be followed by the Phil Spanjer Under 13 Cup final, another north against south clash involving Highgate & Muswell Hill. There are also five AJY finals on Monday with Alyth Belsize White taking on London Maccabi Lions in the Under 10 Woody’s Cup. Then Hendon Inter Schools Blue plays Hendon Inter Schools White in the Under 10 Plate.

This will be followed by the Under 12 Woody’s Cup tie involving Redbridge Jewish Care and Stonegrove Park. Hendon Inter Schools take on Scrabble in the Under 15 final with HMH up against the Under 16s of Redbridge Jewish Care. In a bid to cover as many games as possible, I would like to ask teams to email photos and reports straight after the finals to get into next week’s paper.

Temple Fortune, my first men’s team, are expanding. The club, which turns 40 at the end of the year, will have three teams – one JC MSFL and two Maccabi Masters – for the first time since season 2003/04 when the 2nd team was still in existence in the Maccabi League.

Chairman Nigel Kyte said: “The committee realises that we cannot stand still by keeping things as they are for next season, which would probably have resulted in one of two groups of players leaving the club.

“We recognise the importance of retaining the MSFL team, the survival of which is paramount towards the future of the club. The 1sts have the backbone of a young and competitive team and we need to build on that.”

    Last updated: 11:33am, May 28 2008