The Lions were beaten by the better side on the night, in a game of small margins. There will always be ifs and buts, especially after a cup final, but boss Andy Landesberg, along with his assistant, Darren Yarlett, and coach, Steve Grenfell, would have learnt much more about the players, both individually and collectively, as a result of the defeat.
Ultimately, they were undone by clever game-management by more physical opponents who took their chances. The Lions have been scoring for fun over the past couple of seasons but they didn’t get the breaks this time. The luck, and, notably, a couple of big decisions, went against them.
On the flipside, youngsters James Harpin, Jordan Marks and Adam Burchell, along with substitutes Jack Mattey, Tyler Smith and Sam Hamerton have had another taste of the big stage.
The club should remember to celebrate the emergence of these starlets, the majority of whom are graduates of the club’s youth academy. And the next generation are already being fast-tracked to follow in their footsteps. All this can only be great news for future Maccabiah Games and beyond.
At the other end of the scale, club stalwart Adam Myeroff hardly put a foot wrong at right-back, in his 450th appearance for the club’s first team. He has played the majority of his career at centre-half, but gave as good as he got against the exceptional talent of 18-year-old Joshua Coley. Landesberg told me Coley was more effective in the two recent league matches, but he certainly got me off my seat. Twisting and turning at great pace, not only did he leave some of the Lions players in knots, but spectators too. But Myeroff performed admirably and he is certainly a role model for the younger members of the squad to aspire to.