Oaks are new pow­er­house of Mac­cabi foot­ball

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - CARO’S COL­UMN

THERE WAS an air of in­evitabil­ity about Oak­wood’s last-ditch win­ner against Hen­don United.

Over the two matches, they were wor­thy win­ners. There’s no doubt about that.

And it was fit­ting Leor Si­dle popped up with the golden goal that looks to have dealt a fatal blow to Hen­don’s ti­tle as­pi­ra­tions.

Oak­wood have been the nearly men in Jewish foot­ball for the last few seasons, but they fi­nally have the strength in depth to seal the deal. As joint-man­ager Dan Kristall said: “Noth­ing is won yet but we’re in the mix.”

The team now have four matches left to claim their first ti­tle un­der the new regime. This Oak­wood team have a very dif­fer­ent look and feel to the side Jamie Cole led to glory in 2003. The club name re­mains the same, but there is a dis­tinct north­ern flavour.

It was hard not to be im­pressed by the per­for­mance lev­els and com­mit­ment of the Oak­wood team over the past fort­night. The de­fen­sive unit of Har­vey Kaye, Alex Lee, Dale Brad­man and Lee Warner take no pris­on­ers and it’s no sur­prise that they have con­ceded the fewest goals across the league.

In mid­field, skip­per Adam Levine and Guy Hel­man have been no­table ab­sen­tees, but the re­turn of Kyle Bent­wood has re­ally in­spired them. In re­cent years Oak­wood have done well for three quar­ters of the sea­son but in­juries for key matches have ham­pered their push for sil­ver­ware.

They have re­ally kicked on since the Peter Mor­ri­son Tro­phy fi­nal de­feat against Hen­don a cou­ple of years ago and are top of the league on merit.

For me, Si­dle is the fi­nal piece in a very tal­ented jig­saw. To­gether with Sam Can­tor, they are a night­mare to play against, with the in­dus­tri­ous Brad Wine and David Wool­man in sup­port. They never stop run­ning.

Si­dle had no right to score that win­ning goal on Sun­day but he could smell blood and his late, late show hit Hen­don were it re­ally hurts.

I’m sure there will be plenty of mind games from the likes of David Gar­bacz and Jon Ja­cobs be­tween now and May, but the stage is set for Oak­wood to go from nearly men to cham­pi­ons. And boy would they de­serve it.

Cana­dian Davis Cup player De­nis Shapo­valov wins my award for vil­lain of the week. Born in Tel Aviv, Shapo­valov, 17, was fined £5,600 af­ter hit­ting an um­pire in the eye with a ball. Just what was he think­ing?

Some ex­cit­ing news for mo­tor rac­ing fans in Is­rael. The coun­try’s first full-size auto-rac­ing track is near­ing com­ple­tion in the south­ern city of Arad.

See Danny Caro’s week­end round-up at thejc.com/mg­b­sfl. Email dcaro@ thejc.com and/or fol­low Danny on Twit­ter:@DjCaro

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