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Maccabiah success

JC Sports editor Danny Caro reports from the Maccabiah Games

    Danny Caro
    Danny Caro
    Reaching the final of the Open Cricket competition at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel is an achievement.
     
    Whatever the result, I've been proud of the spirit, intensity and togetherness of my squad.
     
    Victories over Israel, Australia - in the Jewish equivalent of the Ashes - and India were just reward for our efforts in incredibly gruelling conditions.
    Strong together has been our motto from day one, and although we never actually managed to train as a group before travelling to Israel, all the hard work has paid off.
     
    The boys have been fantastic company, both on and off the pitch, with our experienced spine of captain Adam Brand, Stanmore 1st XI captain Marc Reingold, Totteridge 2nd XI skipper Hilton Nathanson and myself ensuring the younger players, many of whom have really stepped up, remain grounded, calm and focused on the task at hand. Credit to them for taking everything in their stride. Benjamin Lederman, Steven Allweis and Sim Cohen have been outstanding with the ball, while Steven Reingold has looked a real talent with bat in hand, as well as holding some really sharp slip catches.
     
    Our team hotel lobby has been a hive of activity every day, with rivals sharing a beer and their sporting memories, working out how and where matches were won or lost.
     
    Indeed, whilst writing this, I can hear some chanting reverberating in the streets below.
     
    Every morning there is a great energy around the place as athletes take on board various energy and rehydration products, as well as their healthy breakfasts that get them through to lunch.
     
    I've been rooming with Adam Brand. We start our days with bursts of press-up, sit-ups, planks, stretches and TRX before popping into Aroma on matchdays for a pick-me-up to ensure we have plenty in the tank.
     
    Maccabiah veteran Craig Kramer continues to live up to his reputation as the party animal of Tel Aviv. The South African batsman is always good for a colourful sing-a-long and he lights up the experience for everyone he comes into contact with.
     
    It was great being able to cheer on the GB netball girls who look good for a medal. Emma Ison was rock solid in the impressive 48-16 victory over South Africa.
     
    I'm also pleased our Junior cricketers secured a couple of wins. Hopefully a couple of them will be in the Open squad in four years time. Their experiences out here will be character building, having had the adventure of a lifetime.
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