Netball / Israel League

Jerusalem Mercaz Dazzles to Claim Second Title

Ra’anana scratches out bronze medal.

Emil Salman

Jerusalem Mercaz put on a dazzling display of netball to beat Tel Aviv, the season’s favorite, in this year’s league final with an impressive score of 44-23 last Thursday.

The Jerusalem women showed the demeanor that won them their previous title, defeating a team that had dominated league play with a 9-1 record, 13 points clear of second-place Mercaz in the final regular season standings. But the regular season performance proved as meaningless as did the NBA’s Golden State Warriors’ record-breaking season this year when it came to the tournament finale, as Mercaz walked away with the trophy.

In the first match, Ra’anana battled it out with Jtown, which was the only team to beat Tel Aviv this season – in a very close match that could have gone either way from the moment the teams stepped on court. But at the final whistle, the scoreboard showed that a triumphant Ra’anana had won the bronze medal by beating their rivals by one goal, 34-33.

Tal Segev was given the Most Valuable Player Award. The Most Improved Player honor went to Batya Tchelet, while Judy Aknin received the Sportsmanship award.

Special awards were also given to Batya Tchelet, Yekira Tchelet and Ella Album, who consistently helped Israel Netball at the officials’ table this season and also on the court when the national team was training for the NE Open.

The league announced after the final that Alexi Schapiro would be stepping down from her role as league coordinator. League officials acknowledged appreciation for Laragh Widdess, Israel Netball’s coach in Newcastle, who is leaving Israel in November.

The league is scheduled to launch its eighth season in November.