The Maccabi Masters League kicked-off its seventeenth season and saw opening day wins for the reigning Division One champions North London Raiders A.
Sponsored by Double-O-Seven management Limited, the League now has 15 teams, demonstrating that age is no barrier to the competitive spirit, the sense of community and the enjoyment of kicking a ball around when we could instead be slumped in front of the television.
In Division One, Raiders got off to a winning start with a 3-2 win over Waldaf Town, thanks to goals from Andrew Wolfin, Saul Conway and Lee Cash. Lloyd Becker and Robbie Weber replied for Waldaf.
Scrabble also secured maximum points, with Jeremy Kornhauser, Stefan Simons and Darren Cohen netting to give them a 3-1 win over HMH, for whom Mark Wagman scored.
Despite goals from Faithfold’s Boris Simons and Adam Bradley, the Hoops went down 3-2, with Daniel Castle, Daniel Sugarman and Adam Stolerman scoring for Chigwell.
In Division 2, Brady B came from two goals down to beat Hendon Harriers 5-2. Ex-Brady players Paul Shamplina and Ian Sumray had given Harriers a 2-0 lead, but Brady scored five times in the last 30 minutes, through Pete Sugarman’s double, Gary Field’s penalty, along with strikes from Trevor Tucker and Daren Nathan.
Not to be outdone, St John’s Wood Tigers came back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 against Temple Fortune, with Paul Herszaft’s penalty winner coming in injury time. Two goals from Yali Mamouri, plus James Ryan’s strike had given Fortune a seemingly unassailable lead, but Ilan Cohen’s double, along with strikes from John Perloff and Herszaft’s spot kick earned Tigers the points.
But the team to beat will be reigning title holders Maccabi London Lions, who made their intentions clear with a thumping 8-0 win over EDRS, courtesy of four goals from Marc Morris, a hat-trick from Michael Abraham, plus strike from Simon Davidson.