Peter Morrison Trophy final special preview


David Garbacz insists Hendon United are ready to shatter North London Raiders A’s treble dreams as they look to extend their domination of the Peter Morrison Trophy into a third year.

The reds will be looking to halt the Raiders who completed a double-double last weekend by adding the MGBSFL title to their Cyril Anekstein Cup.




We have both been the flagship clubs in the MGBSFL for the last few years and it is fitting that if this is to be my last cup final as Hendon manager it should be against them – I will announce my decision after this game

Hendon boss Garbacz described his team “underdogs” for the showpiece match at Wingate & Finchley, even though they will be at full-strength. Moses Seitler, last season’s cup final match-winner, Alex Rosenthal, Greg Corin and Chaim Korman have been included in a 16-man squad.

Having congratulated Raiders on their “deserved” title success, Garbacz insists “the niceties stop there”. He said: “Sunday’s match is massive for us for three different reasons. First, it is a cup final which we desperately want to win.
Second, we are going for a hat- trick of national final triumphs which is an incredible achievement in itself but possibly most importantly, we will stretch every bone in our bodies to prevent Raiders from completing the treble.

"The treble is our speciality and we don’t want anyone else to claim that achievement. For these reasons we are even more excited for Sunday’s final than usual."

Garbacz admits Hendon have had “a disappointing league campaign” yet they have excelled in the cup competitions after also reaching the last four of the Anekstein.

"Raiders will go into the game as favourites,” he said. “They are unbeaten this season, although I think the sides are evenly matched. But I have always said that we can beat anyone when we have our best team available."

The Hendon manager predicts an "open game" and expects it to be more of a spectacle compared to last month's Cyril Anekstein Cup final.

He said: "If we try to keep things tight Raiders will probably win - defensively they have been brilliant all year – consequently we will want a much more open match where our forwards can make an impact.

"I predict goals and lots of goal-mouth action. The match could be won on the wide flanks of Wingate. Raiders have huge strength in that department but so do we. We have the option to play any two of Greg Corin, Yoav Kestenbaum, Zac Lewis and Seitler in those positions. The full-backs from both sides will have massive roles to play.

“All the pressure is on Raiders – they have had a fantastic season and have been head and shoulders above every team in terms of consistency and performance.

"But we’ll go into this match full of confidence and belief – we are the ones with history at stake as well – we are going for a third consecutive Morrison title although we need to treat this match like any other.

"We have enough experience to ensure that the occasion does not get the better of us. We will be cool and calm but we will aim to play good attacking football and provide proper entertainment for the crowd and set an example for the league.

"It is a shame that Lions were thrown out but they made a terrible mistake for a club of their stature and have paid the price. We were up for the Lions challenge but now we have the challenge of Raiders and all that represents.

"We have both been the flagship clubs in the MGBSFL for the last few years and it is fitting that if this is to be my last cup final as Hendon manager it should be against them – I will announce my decision after this game.

"I really hope it is a great game – I’m sure it will be especially when Ari Last lifts that cup on Sunday evening."

Jonathan Green describes the final as a “bonus match” for NLR after Lions were thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player in the semi-finals.

But he admits their hopes have been hit by injuries to four key players against Harmen last weekend. “We’ll be down to the bare bones,” said Green, “However, whatever team we put out we expect to compete and push Hendon all the way. There will be so much great attacking quality on show that I hope it will be a classic cup final.

"Matches between the two teams are always a very close but there’s no pressure on us. We shouldn’t really be in this final as we were put through by a technicality. For us it’s a bonus and we’ll just go out and enjoy the occasion."

Joint-manager Rob Richman described the absence of playmaker Ben Joseph as “hugely disappointingly” after he suffered a cruciate injury. “He’s been a mainstay of the side the last two years and is a huge reason why we have been so successful,” said Richman. “We’re all gutted for him and wish him a speedy recovery.”

The NLR squad will undergo a host of late fitness tests, with Jonny Kay looking the most doubtful. Green and Richman are “hopeful” that Matt Stock, Alex Moss, Ricky Engleman, Josh Morris and Josh Pistol will shake off their injuries, but Oscar Wagner, Jono Rochwerger and Alex Kaye miss out.

Although Garbacz is the master of the mind games, Green turned up the heat on his counterpart by adding: “Hendon will probably feel a little more pressure as it’s their only chance for silverware this season. They are a great and experienced side so I’m sure that won’t have much of an impact and we will be set for a big and exciting game.”

Much depends, of course, on who is and isn't fit for Raiders. The absence of Ben Joseph is a big blow, but they still have the players and squad depth to win the famous Morrison Trophy. And I think they will ... just.



HENDON: Russell Corin, Ben Kon, Rafi Kon, Ari Nevies, Alex Rosenthal, Ethan Zone, Gav Krieger, Simon Peterman, Ari Last (capt), Avi Korman, Yoav Kestenbaum, Dovi Fehler, Zac Lewis, Greg Corin, Moses Seitler, Israel Lewis, Chaim Korman

RAIDERS: Jake Doffman, Alex Bloch, Josh Morris, Justin Spiro, David Rhodes (capt), Josh Pistol, Ben Rosenblatt, Elliott Moslawy, Jonny Kay, Adam Joselyn, Oscar Wagner, Alex Moss, Ricky Engleman, Nick Lewis, David Dinkin, Josh Green, Jordan Marks, Ben Ellis, Matt Stock, Liron Mannie, Nyv Bogaire,

Referee: Martin de la Fuente
Asst Ref: Callum Foster
Asst Ref: Neal Cohen
4th Official/Reserve Referee: Neil Cooper

DC Prediction: Raiders 2 Hendon 1








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