Barak Netanya earns third-place finish at Zombies Cup

File Photo: Ori Bar David led Barak Netanya LC with 10 goals.
File Photo: Ori Bar David led Barak Netanya LC with 10 goals.

BELGRADE, SERBIA — A young Barak Netanya LC squad had a big weekend, earning a third-place finish out of the eight-team field at the Zombies Cup at “FC Bask”.

Israel U-19 national team players Ori Bar David (10 goals) and Ron Bentura (8 goals) had breakout performances for the “Lightning”, who finished with a 4-1 record with wins over teams that had them outmatched in size and experience.

“I’m very proud of the boys and how they represented our city on and off the field. They played with both poise and passion.” said Barak Netanya LC program director Jack Kane, who served as head coach. “We want to thank the Belgrade Zombies for hosting us and to all of the teams for their friendship and sportsmanship.”

On Friday, Bar David netted four goals as Netanya opened the tournament with a 7-1 win over the Vienna Monarchs. Ron Bentura, Jacob Silberlicht and Yakir Yosef added singles, while Eric Fischer (40:00, 3 saves, 1 GA) earned the win in goal.

The Israelis kept rolling with a second win on Friday, topping Olimpija LC (Slovenia), 6-1. Bar David scored three goals, while Bentura added two and Silberlicht chipped in a single. Fischer (40:00, 7 saves, 1 GA) had a big game between the pipes.

Netanya wrapped up pool play with a balanced 5-1 win over the Bulgarian Khans. Bentura paced Netanya with two goals, while Lidor Ashtamkar, Silberlicht and Bar David chipped in singles. Fischer took care of business in goal for the win (40:00, 6 saves, 1 GA).

The “Lightning” met their match in the semifinals, falling to the 2015 champions in Bocconi Pellicani. The teams went goal-for-goal in the first half, with the score tied 4-4 at the break, however, the Italians pulled away in the second half to advance to the Championship game. Bentura led the Israelis with two goals, while Bar David and Silberlicht added singles. Fischer (40:00, 5 saves, 8 GA) was dealt the loss in goal.

Barak bounced back with a 3-1 win over the Vienna Monarchs in the third-place game. Bentura, Bar David and Silberlicht scored the goals for Netanya, while Fischer (40:00, 8 saves, 1 GA) stifled the Austrians in goal to earn the win.

The finish marks the best result for a homegrown Israeli club in a European tournament to date. The on-field experience on the weekend should prove to be invaluable for the young team, the core of which will be competing for Barak Netanya’s IPLL roster this summer.

Caps (x5): Lidor Ashtamkar, Ori Bar David, Alon Bechor, Dor Ben Or, Harel Ben Harush, Ron Bentura, Mor Cohen, Eric Fischer, Itay Pekar, Jacob Silberlicht, Bar Yahalom, Ronel Yefrach, Yakir Yosef