A man-of-the-match display from wonder kid Benjamin Lederman enabled London Maccabi Vale 2nd to clinch the Maccabi National Knockout Cup after beating Belmont & Edgware 1st by 53 runs at the Walker Ground in Southgate.
Standing in for regular skipper Jonathan Lederman, LMV's Adam Brand won the toss and elected to bat on one of the wickets used by Middlesex CCC.
A low, slow surface made runs hard to come by and BECC's opening bowlers soon had the LMV top order in trouble. Nigel Rothband was dropped by Ami Wynbourne off the bowling of Gideon Restan at extra cover and then Joseph Greenwall-Cohen was put down off a sharp chance at slip by Oli Simons off his captain Ashley Connick.
The breakthrough came in the 10th over when Rothband holed out to Restan at mid-on off the bowling of Connick. Restan was back in the action six over's later when a smart piece of fielding saw a direct-hit account for Scott Gerard.
LMV moved to 89-2 at the half way mark with Greenwall-Cohen looking good. The prize wicket of Brand (18) came in the 23rd over as spinner Richie Wienburg got down well to claim a sharp caught and bowled with the score on 99.
A flurry of wickets saw LMV suffer a mid-order collapse as they lost the five wickets for 15 runs. Wienburg’s flight and guile soon accounted for Daniel Caplan courtesy of a sharp stumping from Michael Blasebalk.
Stuart Davis returned to the attack to dismiss Greenwall-Cohen (36) before Wienburg deceive Jonathan Cantor with a quicker one. And when Davis bowled Lederman, LMV were in real trouble at 110-7. It got even better for BECC as Oli Simons had Mark Spanjar LBW, although the ball appeared to be going over the stumps. At 114-8, LMV were staring down the barrel but a 73-run partnership between Jon Galloway and Saul Weitzman kept the innings together. They combined clever running with some big hits as the score moved to 187-9 at which point Connick had Weitzman caught at cover by Simons for a crucial 26.
Galloway, batting with the aid of a runner after pulling his hamstring, finished unbeaten on 43 as LMV were dismissed for 187 with five balls to spare.
Needing to score at little more than four and a half an over, BECC lost their first wicket with 10 on the board as Connick was well caught by Brand who took a tumbling catch at extra cover off the bowling of Greenwall-Cohen. The same bowler accounted for Davis 13 runs later.
Just as Jonathan Feigenbaum looked to impose himself, Simon Renshaw rearranged his stumps with a smart piece of swing bowling with the score now 43-4. The key wicket of Simons was taken by Brand following a strategic fielding setting with Lederman, 15, claiming his first wicket.
Warren Averbuch was sent back to the pavilion as Rothband clung on to a sharp chance at gully with Lederman again the grateful recipient.
Brand put down a sharp chance at slip after Renshaw had found the edge of Jonny Evans' bat but it mattered little as Lederman cleaned up Wynbourne.
It soon became 54-7 as Lederman accounted for Wienburg before claiming his fifth with the wicket of Evans and the score on 79-8. With the match seemingly over, a brave 55-run partnership between Blasebalk (24) and Raffi Addlestone moved the score along but a caught and bowled from Weitzman ended BECC's hopes. The double Maccabian confirmed victory by removing Restan.
BECC skipper Ashley Connick said: "The game was a lot closer than the result suggests, and if we'd lasted our 40 overs, we'd have won. Rafi Addlestone and Michael Blasebalk batted exceptionally, putting on 55 for the 9th wicket, and I'm only sorry the top order didn't give them more of a platform.
"All credit to Vale though, we had them on the ropes before Jon Galloway and Saul Weitzman put on the match-changing partnership, and then Benjamin Lederman ripped through the middle order and thoroughly deserved his man of the match award."
BECC: Ashley Connick (capt), Stuart Davis, Oli Simons, Jonathan Feigenbaum, Ami Wynbourne, Richie Wienburg, Jonny Evans, Warren Averbuch, Michael Blasebalk (wkt), Rafi Addlestone Gideon Restan
LMV: Adam Brand (capt), Joseph Greenwall-Cohen, Nigel Rothband, Scott Gerard, Daniel Caplan, Jon Galloway, Jonathan Cantor, Benjamin Lederman, Saul Weitzman, Mark Spanjar (wkt), Simon Renshaw
See pictures from the game here