Pupils battle it out at Maccabi tournament


Kerem and Simon Marks were the respective winners of Maccabi GB's Primary Schools Football Tournament for Years 5 and 6 Boys and Girls, held in partnership with UJIA.

This tournament has always been a popular event and this time was no exception with 13 schools attending bringing along 30 different teams to compete. In total over 300 young people participated.

The tournament was split with the boys and girls competing in separate events. The afternoon started with teams playing in group stages with the top two teams in each group progressing into the knockout stages.

The group games were closely contested and produced some great football with lots of excitement to keep the many teachers and parents, who had come to support their teams, entertained throughout.

Once all the group games were finished the teams gathered back in to discover who had made it through to the knockout stages. The boys’ tournament saw eight teams progress into the quarter-finals whilst the girls went straight into semi-finals.

The knockout games were all close and nervy affairs decided by just the odd goal. The final game for the boys between Sinai and MMK needed a penalty shoot-out to determine a winning team, with MMK eventually securing their place in the semi-finals.

Whilst the boys’ semi-finals were taking place, the final of the girls’ tournament was attracting quite a crowd with Simon Marks, who had looked strong right from the first game, beating off the threat from Wolfson Hillel to win the final and claim the Girls trophy.

The excitement from the girls final transferred straight across to the boys pitches as the final of their tournament was about to kick off with Kerem taking on MMK.

The final was a great spectacle with both teams really pushing for the win. Kerem took an early lead only for MMK to draw back level. With time running out Kerem managed to create the move of the game and finished it off to regain the lead, this time holding on until the final whistle blew to win the game and the tournament.

Matt Travers, manager of Maccabi GB’s sports department, said: "These tournaments are about so much more than just winning.

"Today we have provided 300 young people with the opportunity to represent their schools and join together with the other Jewish schools to showcase their sporting talents.

"It is a proud moment to step back and see so many young Jewish people playing Maccabi GB sports in such an exciting and encouraging environment."

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