We'll go from strength to strength, says Goldsmith


Maccabi GB's first venture into handball ended in defeat, but captain Adam Goldsmith believes there were several positives to take out of the game.

History was made on Sunday as the first all-Jewish Handball team lined up for a pre-season friendly against Ruislip Eagles at the Queensmead Sports Centre.

Although many of the players had only taken up the sport in the summer – and some after taking part in the MGB Handball Taster Day in May – this was not apparent as the side more-than-matched their experienced opponents in the first half, before fatigue set in after the break.

Maccabi GB fell behind early to a well-worked and powerful goal and a second one followed, which appeared to be a wake-up call to MGB Handball.

Anthony Tropp – an ex-England international and the most experienced player in the squad - had the honour of becoming the first person to score a goal for the Club, taking a ball on left court and diving into the area to manoeuvre it past the Ruislip ‘keeper.

From this point onwards, Maccabi GB traded blows with the Eagles, with the latter’s movement and physicality becoming an issue for the MGB. Impressive goals from Captain, Dean Caplin, and Alex Elf had their opponents surprised the Eagles and they fired back in kind, smashing in four more past rookie ‘keeper, Joshua Pinhass.

The score would have been even more emphatic had it not been for the heroics of Pinhass and the physicality of Playmaker, Daniel Sichel and Pivot, Adam Goldman.

More goals followed for both teams, with Sichel adding to the debut scorers and Liam Stein setting up player-manager Goldsmith, whose leap into the area ended up with another score for Maccabi GB.

Stein, who was having an impressive game, added another one before the end of the half as MGB went into the break trailing 10-7. It could have been even tighter had Elf and Caplin not spurned excellent chances when clean through.

Eagles stepped up a gear in the second half. Whether it was the fatigue that set in, or the increasing deficit that was opening up which was forcing MGB’s players to take unnecessary shots, the boys in white capitulated, allowing for Ruislip to rain down the goals.

Pinhass moved further up court, with Tropp replacing him, winger Joey Carr worked hard at both ends of the court. Impressive goals from Sichel and Elf left the final score 23-9 in Ruislip's favour.

Maccabi GB Handball Club player-manager Adam Goldsmith said: "The result today was almost unimportant. The players can feel immense pride for what they did out there on the court.

"A lot of the opposition play one or two divisions higher and we matched them for half a game.

"However, our greatest achievement today was getting a squad of all-Jewish players together to compete in a game. This is what the players should be proud of the most. I have no doubt we will improve each time we play."

The Maccabi GB team will compete in two more friendlies before their campaign in the London Handball Regional Development League 2 begins on October 19.

Dean Caplin (Captain)
Alex Elf
Liam Stein
Daniel Sichel
Anthony Tropp
Joshua Pinhass
Adam Goldman
Joey Carr
Adam Goldsmith (Player/Manager)

Maccabi GB Handball is still recruiting for players. Jewish athletes over the age of 16, and have good athletic ability, are encouraged to visit, email or call 0208 457 2333 for more info. No experience is necessary.

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