Oak­wood ti­tle tri­umph would be a fit­ting trib­ute to David­son

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - CARO’S COL­UMN

WHO IS your money on for the MGBSFL ti­tle? Mine is on Oak­wood. Just. I’ve al­ways been a points-in-the­bag kind of guy. Know­ing what you al­ready have over the un­cer­tainty over what could hap­pen in the fu­ture. Man­age the man­age­ables and leave noth­ing to chance.

That is ex­actly what Dan Kristall and Ric Blank did last sum­mer. Hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced heart­break in a ma­jor cup fi­nal for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sea­son, they an­a­lysed the sit­u­a­tion and did what was ne­c­es­sary to boost their chances of sil­ver­ware.

New ar­rivals in­cluded Jake Nor­ton, Zack Collins, Thomas Prais and Louis Rawl­ings, while Har­vey Kaye be­came a fix­ture in the start­ing XI. Kristall and Blank have been wax­ing lyri­cal about the right-back who is a lead­ing con­tender for a place in my Team of the Sea­son.

Oak­wood had an ex­cel­lent de­fence last sea­son and with Alex Lee and Dale Brad­man vir­tual ever-presents, they are even bet­ter as a unit now, with left-back Lee Warner an­other of the un­sung he­roes.

In at­tack, Leor Si­dle and Sam Can­tor have bul­lied de­fences across the divi­sion and been clin­i­cal in front of goal, while Brad Wine and David Wool­man have run them­selves into the ground. Both are ex­cel­lent strik­ers but the work ethic of both has been su­perb since drop­ping a lit­tle deeper into mid­field. But noth­ing is won yet. They know the Lions will be strong when they host them on April 2.

Red­bridge know they will be crowned cham­pi­ons if they win their re­main­ing league matches. And there’s the small mat­ter of a cup semi-fi­nal against first divi­sion Finchley City this weekend.

Jon Ja­cobs has an equally tal­ented group, with the lux­ury of two qual­ity goal­keep­ers in Jay Jaffa and Dan Lee. Ryan Cole has been an­other stand­out player this year although he faces a race against time to be fit for the Finchley game. Ja­cobs de­scribed Darryl Ru­bin as a “Rolls Royce of a player” and his part­ner­ship at the heart of de­fence with Zac Neiman has been “a joy to watch”. Ja­cobs de­scribed the for­mer Scrab­ble man as his “break­through player of the sea­son”.

There have been plenty of col­umn inches ded­i­cated to the three Sol­losi broth­ers, while it was only a mat­ter of time un­til Daniel Garfin­kle was back among the goals. And the re­turn to league ac­tion of Dean Ny­man has been as good for Red­bridge as it has for the MGBSFL.

The boy oozes qual­ity and al­ways plays with a smile on his face, as does full-back Danny Berg. The Berkley broth­ers – Matt and James – have also raised their game, while the skills and fit­ness lev­els of Rus­sell Goldstein are sec­ond to none.

Red­bridge are play­ing catch-up. It’s looks set to be a thrilling few weeks, so hold on to your hats. An Oak­wood win would also be a fit­ting trib­ute to for­mer player Rob David­son who passed away, aged 34, late last year. I think it’s writ­ten in the stars.

While his team are bat­tling for the Cham­pi­onship ti­tle with New­cas­tle United, Brighton owner Tony Bloom was cel­e­brat­ing a win­ner of an­other kind af­ter his horse, Pen­hill, won the Al­bert Bartlett Hur­dle at Chel­tenham, at re­ward­ing odds of 16-1. Bloom said: “I’m over the moon and it’s a bril­liant horse we have here.”

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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