Hendon manager David Garbacz said stopping Raiders equalling their treble-winning feat provided them with an extra spur to beat them in the Peter Morrison Trophy final.
Raiders were looking to add the trophy to the Premier Division title and Cyril Anekstein Cup – a feat only managed by one other team in Jewish football – Hendon in 2014.
However, Avi Korman’s stunning late strike ensured Hendon ended the season with a trophy, while at the same time denying Raiders a treble of their own.
Garbacz said: “We really did not want them to emulate our achievement especially as they would have done so in invincible fashion like we did a few years back. This did act as an extra spur for us. This win caps what was ultimately a successful season for us – if not so the league, we have still proved we were the team to beat in the cups and to win this national Cup for a third successive season is a remarkable achievement which we are all very proud of.
“Once again, congratulations to Raiders on a tremendous double winning season but it feels good to only say double and not treble.”
Reflecting on his side’s performance, he said: “I’m so very proud of all the squad, we had a determination and a drive from the very off today and really had a good feeling that this was going to be our day.
“We spoke about not making the same mistakes as last year in the Anekstein final when we found ourselves out of the game by half-time. This time we wanted to keep a good shape for the first part of the game and open up more once the game would inevitably get more stretched.
“Raiders are such a hard team to break down and it was always going to need a special moment and the winning goal Avi Korman struck in the last minute was good enough to win any cup final at any level.”
Believing his side deserved the win, he said: “Overall, we definitely felt we did. We had the better chances and more of the possession and I felt our midfield three of Avi Korman Ari last and Moses Seitler had the upper hand all day. We felt aggrieved with the offside goal, but thankfully that didn’t come to cost us in the end.”
Looking back on the season as a whole, he said: “Any season without a trophy would be considered failure for Hendon and any season with one is considered a success. Although we didn’t perform as well as expected in the league, the fact that we won today is actually a greater achievement in that we were probably written off in some quarters this season, but have proved people wrong and the squad have proved once again what winners they are.”
Garbacz also revealed there will though be changes next year – both in playing personnel and the manager. He said: “I’m sure Ben Kon will be hanging up his boots and we may lose others such as Simon Peterman, Ethan Zone and Seitler, while some of the older boys may also consider retirement, but overall the nucleas is strong and we have some great young players to take the club forward none more so than today’s match winner Avi Korman.
“From a personal point of view I am officially calling it a day. I leave with a heavy heart but have no regrets and really do feel the time is now right – I have loved every minute of the last six years and it has been a true honour to have managed some really great players over the years and to have won nine trophies in that period, including two trebles.
“I will always be a massive Hendon fan and will probably find myself watching from the sidelines next year anyway, especially if my younger son gets in the team!
“I’ve enjoyed all battles with all my managerial mates and I hope the league and Jewish football in general is around for many more years to come.”
Raiders joint-manage Rob Richman conceded the better team won, saying: “Congrats to Hendon, they pushed us close in the league last season and we know they are a very strong outfit and a great group of players and they deserved the win.
“It wasn’t a great game of football. The heat and state of the pitch made it very difficult for both sides to play much exciting football. In addition, you have two sides who are very evenly matched who in truth cancelled each other out.”
Disappointed with the manner of the loss, but proud of his side’s efforts over the course of the season, he said: “It’s never an enjoyable experience to lose a cup final in the last minute and the boys were all disappointed, but we have much to be proud of this season. To win back-to-back doubles is a huge achievement and one we are quite rightly proud of. It hasn’t been done since 1977-78 so we made our own little bit of history this season.
“The boys have done everything asked of them this season, given absolutely everything and have shown along the way what a talented group of footballers they are. They have been a delight to manage and a credit to themselves so congratulations to all them on a tremendous season.”
Looking ahead to next season – and as to what they can achieve, he said: “Next season is a long, long way away. We’ve never been ones to make statements pre-season as to what we expect to achieve and how we expect to do. Instead we focus on going out and enjoying ourselves and playing to the potential in the group and that’s exactly what we will do next season.”
Chairman National Football Committee , Laurence Thorne said: “Congratulations to Hendon United A for winning the Peter Morrison trophy for the third year running and commiserations to North London Raiders A, it was a very close game in extremely hot temperatures played in a fantastic spirit.
“We will now begin to plan for next season’s Peter Morrison tournament and thank you to my committee for all their input.”