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Maccabi juniors win two championship titles

THE Maccabi Lions U15 boys’ division 1 team finally converted a league premiership win into a championship title triumph, when decisively defeating Dunbar Rovers 3-0 in their grand final last Sunday afternoon at Heffron Park. Dominating possession from the kick-off, the Maccabi boys utilised their free-flowing passing game to great effect. Josh Chesler became the first goal scorer, through a deft strike that drifted into the goal mouth. Maccabi got 2-0 up via a successful penalty attempt by Ben Palmer and their third goal came just before the break, when Zac Strasser spotted Dunbar’s keeper come out and volleyed the ball past him. Possession in the second half was more even as Dunbar pressed, but Maccabi’s defence was up to that challenge. Ryan Hirschowitz was unlucky not to score when his powerful, rising shot at goal was palmed above the crossbar and in the last minute, a shot by Dunbar’s striker, off a corner kick, struck the left post. The team’s coach, Mike Synnott, said the boys “played very good football, got on top early and were rewarded with a match-winning lead by half-time”. “It was a special win for them, as Dunbar had beaten them in last year’s grand final.” The team’s captain, Mark Greenberg, said, “In today’s decider, we showed up, worked hard for each other and deserved the win. “Having won the last three premierships, but not a championship, it was so good to win a grand final. “Thanks to all who made this possible.” Another championship title was won on Sunday night by MaccabiHakoah’s U16 boys’ division 1 side who, like their U15 clubmates, were league premiers, but had lost last year’s grand final and were hungry to shine. They were cheered on by a good turnout of supporters at Heffron and faced a determined Mascot team they’d drawn with and beaten once, in the regular season. Reliable keeper Dean Corrick blocked an early on-target shot by Mascot and from that point, scoring chances were hard to come by from either side, although Maccabi created more in the second half. With scores 0-0 at the end of regular and extra-time, a nerve-racking penalty shootout began. At two shots apiece, Corrick made a vital save, Maccabi’s Marc Collins’ penalty went in, Mascot’s next shot hit the left post and when Noah Bass slotted in his attempt, Maccabi emerged victorious. In doing so, the team, coached by Ash Ure and captained by Aaron Buchman, remained undefeated, became championship winners and earned a spot in the Champion of Champions tournament. Three other Maccabi-Hakoah boys teams played in junior grand finals last weekend, all finishing runners-up. Their U18 division 1 side tried their best against ladder leaders Waverley Old Boys, but were outclassed 0-3. In U16 division 2, the Maccabi Tigers fell 1-2 to top-placed Glebe Wanderers. And in U14 division 2, the Maccabi Lions were league premiers, but with two key attacking players out, were up against it against an in-form Queens Park side. The Maccabi boys lost 0-1, but it took a looping, Messi-style free kick to earn Queens Park their goal and the championship. Rafi Cappee was named Maccabi’s MVP and Joseph Moshal their most improved player.

Credit AJN

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