1st Team Match Reports
20th Apr 2013: Old Actonians 31 – Hendon 11
This final league encounter with Old Actonians, re-arranged after the mid-March snow, Hendon found themselves on the back foot after 5 minutes as poor defending allowed OA’s 1st converted try. Hendon got straight back into the match after Lee Linale slotted over his 1st penalty on 10 minutes. Neither side could take advantage with Hendon’s defence stopping a frustrated OA’s back line. However a positional mistake by the referee blocked Hendon from tackling the attacking OA’s, who ran in their 2nd try after 20 minutes. Again Hendon took the game into the home 22, and Linale again slotted over the penalty 12-6. Coming up to half-time Hendon’s concentration lapsed and OA’s had two more scores on the board to go 24-6 ahead.
The 2nd half saw Hendon taking the advantage but could not penetrate the OA’s defence until the 35th minute when after a forward maul led by Gilbride and Blake continued by Julian and Quinn for John McCarthy to collect, break the 1st tackle on the OA’s 10 metre line and pass inside to Tom Mathias to run in the perfect try.
OA’s rallied, Hendon’s Jamie Connolly was adjudged offside in the red zone in the last minute and was sin binned allowing OA’s to finish off with a late converted try to win 31-11 getting the bonus point to finish 3rd in the league. Hendon finished their season in 10th place from 12 in the League.
13th Apr 2013: Hendon 25 – Belsize Park 23
Hendon were uphill in the 1st half into the strong wind and came under pressure resulting in a try from a well worked BP back move after 8 minutes. Hendon were consistently putting pressure on the BP forwards but handling errors resulted in lost ball with the superior BP back line taking control to score again. On the half-hour Terry Gilbride finished off an uphill maul that took Hendon from the BP 10 metre line to score a pushover try. Again BP came straight back at Hendon with another backline move to score a converted try. But Hendon finished the 1st half with another attack, resulting in a BP player in the sin bin and Lee Linale converting the penalty 8-17.
The 2nd half gave Hendon the advantage and the half-back pairing of Linale and Tommy Middleton put BP under pressure with a magnificent performance from Cosmos Mutuma in the forwards. But BP were 1st on the board with a Hendon defensive error to allow BP to convert the penalty. Then it was all Hendon. The forwards retained and drove to set up a Linale converted penalty. Middleton scored from a driving maul to score a Linale converted try. On 25 minutes BP were upfield and gained a penalty to slot over for a 18-23 lead. Hendon never gave up the chase for the final score which with a minute to go the forwards again set up the driving maul from the BP 22 with Middleton again coming in to collect and score to level the scores at 23-23 with the final kick to come from the touchline. The Linale kick missed but the referee awarded another attempt as the BP players had charged too early. Linale with his 2nd attempt converted and Hendon clocked up a vital 25-23 win.
6th Apr 2013: Hendon 32 – Verulamians 29
Verulamians kicked-off downhill and put Hendon under pressure, immediately resulting in a corner try to go 0-5 up within minutes. 5 minute later Hendon attacked up the field. Lee Linale started the move with a run from a tap penalty and Steve Brady ran round the defence to score in the top corner. After missing a long penalty Hendon were on the defence and a maul on the 5 metre line resulted in Verulamians crossing to score. Hendon’s Michael Blake was sin binned for a technical offence and Hendon were again weakened as V’s ran in their 3rd converted try under the post to go 5-17 ahead. Then Hendon’s 2nd row Pat Quinn was sin binned and Hendon were down to 13 and in trouble. But no further scores as the home team defended valiantly until the 31st minute when they were back to 15 and up field attacking the V’s line. From a 5 metre ruck, John McCarthy collected and twisted over the line to score, converted by Lee Linale 12-17. Almost on half-time Hendon were awarded a penalty on the 22 and up stepped Linale to convert for a score of 15-17.
Hendon were downhill in the 2nd half and taking V’s ball in the lineout through Pat Quinn out-jumping his opposition. V’s were again penalised and lost a man to the sin bin as Linale slotted over for Hendon to go ahead 18-17. 15 mins later the referee produced the yellow card again and this time Hendon’s Paul Geraghty was off and Hendon were back to 14 and defending their line. A turn over on Hendon’s line by Cosmos Mutuma was booted away to allow Hendon a breather; But this was short lived as from defence they ran the pitch to score in the corner for their 4th try. But Hendon resumed the attack and on the half-hour a backline move resulted in centre Gerry O’Donoghue scoring in the corner. From the restart, V’s were setting up another attack until man of the match Pat Quinn intercepted to run from half-way to score under the post a Linale converted try and Hendon were back in the lead 27-22 with their 4th try. Hendon were now the dominant force and from a 5 metre maul Hendon were over again with Brian O’Regan scoring the last try for Hendon 32-22. But V’s were not beaten yet as they rallied and crashed through the Hendon defence to score a late converted try 32-29 with Hendon holding out for a well earned win.
9th Mar 2013: Hendon 0 – Harrow 22
Hendon were off downhill and although having early forward possession, a long kick from defence by Harrow saw their left wing chase upfield to collect and score in the corner to go 0-5 up after 10 mins. Hendon surprised Harrow in the next 20 mins as Hendon dominated the game but could not penetrate the Harrow defence with inspired runs from Lee Linale, Paul Geraghty and Cosmos Mutuma. After all Hendon’s possession it was Harrow just before the break to capture the ball from a poor Hendon line out mid field and the Harrow backs ran in a try in the corner making it 0-10 on the break.
Into the 2nd half Harrow took full advantage of the slope and after 10 mins with a 5 metre penalty out wide pushed over for their 3rd try for a 0-17 lead. Hendon maintained the forward pressure with Walsh, Hanley and O’Regan combining well but the finishing touch was not there. Into the last quarter a line out to Harrow on the Hendon 22 was quickly taken to their 1st man in the line to run for the line and scored unopposed their 4th try for the bonus point. The rest of the match saw Hendon pressing hard, finishing without a score but knowing they can compete with the best in the league.
2nd Mar 2013: West London 48 – Hendon 12
In the 1st 10 minutes it was Hendon’s forwards who took the ball to WL. Play was in the WL half but as soon as ball was lost it was the WL backline who sliced through the weak Hendon defence to score 5-0. For the next 10 minute again Hendon’s pack dominated with Brian O’Regan leading the charge but for all the effort there was no score and from a defensive kick WL scored again 12-0. In the next 20 mins to half-time WL ran in 4 more tries to be 38-0 ahead with Hendon looking at another high scoring defeat.
Coach Chris Palmer had words with the team in the interval which transformed them into winning the 2nd half. It was driving mauls from the visitors keeping the ball in hand with the whole pack contributing that paid dividends after 15 minutes with a push on the WL line taken by scrum-half John MaCarty to dive through for the try 38-5. 5 minutes later Hendon were over the try line again but held up by the WL defence. Hendon won the scrum, pushed over for MaCarthy again to score on his back with the ball over his head, converted by full back Steve Brady. Hendon then allowed WL backs to recover and resulted in two more tries out wide for WL to stretch their lead to 48-12. But Hendon were not finished and crossed the line again for a try but the referee missed it and the score not awarded.
16th Feb 2013: Hendon 3 – London Welsh Amateurs 64
From the kick off Hendon were downhill but soon found themselves on the back foot against a more powerful pack of LW forwards who pushed up the field and after 15 minutes of continual defence, LW were over for their 1st converted try. Brian O’Regan with Paul Julian from the Hendon side gave some hope with some penetrating forward surges but possession was all too frequently lost for LW to get back onto the Hendon line to increase their half-time lead with 4 more tries to 0-35. Another blow to the Hendon scrum was the loss after 25 minutes of Terry Gilbride with a neck injury but his replacement, making his 1st team debut, Rob Steel never gave up the fight.
Into the 2nd half Lee Linale made several attempts to give Hendon some penetration with long kicks to touch and leading from a line out Hendon were stopped short with a try possibility but LW killed the ball and all Hendon had to show was a Linale penalty after conceding two further scores 3-45. In the closing 15 minutes Hendon had no answer to a rampant LW who crossed the Hendon line 3 more times to finish at 3-64.
9th Feb 2013: Old Millhillians 81 – Hendon 0
This was a comprehensive slaughter for Hendon as Old Millhillians back line found the gaps in the Hendon defence and took them to the cleaners. However from the kick off Hendon;s pack looked the stronger with constant ruck/maul moves up the pitch to the OM’s 22. The OM’s defence held strong as Hendon fought to penetrate the OM’s try line until a mistake gifted the ball to the home outfit to run the pitch and score their 1st converted try after 10 mins. Minutes later mid-field play saw OM’s again run wide to score for a 14-0 lead. No alarm bells yet as both sides had opportunities, Hendon’s strength coming from Lee Linale at 10 with some long kicks and Tony Connor at 4 punching through the middle. Then the flood gates opened after 25 minutes as OM’s fitter and faster backs cruised round the Hendon defence to score a further 5 tries before the break with the help of 2 technical errors by Hendon’s forwards to push 2 players into the sin bin.
Before Hendon could get back to full strength, OM’s ran in 2 further scores to go 55-0 ahead. But with all back, heads were down and defence was poor as OM’s were now almost scoring at will with 2 further scores at 69-0. With just 10 minutes to end their ordeal, Hendon collected themselves as the defence held up but luck was not on their side as an OM went to score a try in the corner. By now the visitors awaited the final whistle which came as OM’s ran in their final converted try.
2nd Feb 2013: Feltham 24 – Hendon 10
A 3 week lay off due to snow and a 2 hour car journey across West London through the Twickenham Stadium traffic, did not setup Hendon well for this semi-final of the Middlesex Vase competition. Heads were down from the start as they faced a cold hard wind and defended their half for 20 minutes before Feltham’s forwards took the upper hand pushing the visitors back and denying possession. The inability of Hendon to stop the home side resulted in a 17-0 score at the turn round with 3 tries coming from the Feltham forwards.
Into the 2nd half Hendon tried to run the ball instead of using the wind advantage and again allowed Feltham to overturn possession for another converted try 24-0. Tommy Middleton at 10 was Hendon’s playmaker which was only rewarded in the last 10 mins as the Feltham forwards tired and Hendon ran in two tries with winger Robert Nunez and scrum-half John McCarthy scoring out wide to finish a miserable afternoon at 24-10.
13th Jan 2013: Bank of England 9 – Hendon 16
Hendon started nervously, poorly defending from the off and conceding an early penalty after 3 mins. From the restart Hendon were on the attack with a forward inspired run led by Cosmos Mutuma that led to a Hendon penalty as 2nd row forward Paul Geraghty slotted over to even the points. A sustained Bank attack over the next 20 minutes came to a solitary penalty that gave the home outfit the lead at 6-3. Again from the restart which resulted in a mid field Hendon scrum, Tommy Middleton kicked long, picked up by Geraghty, Mutuma to the Bank 5 metre line for a maul, then fed to Middleton again, saw the gap and put winger Robert Nunez in to score in the corner 6-8. As the half came to a conclusion with Hendon very much in the game, it was the Bank making the attack, Hendon defending wave after wave of backline assaults which in the end resulted in a penalty and a sin bin for a technical offence to end the half at 9-8.
Into the 2nd half Hendon defended again for 15 minutes but conceded nothing as the Bank threw everything at them. When Hendon were awarded a penalty in their own 22, a long kick by Michael Blake allowed for another forward inspired drive by Terry Gilbride, Blake and Mutuma resulting in a scrum on the Bank 5 metre line. Again quick thinking by scrum-half Middleton, who dived through the defence to score 9-13. The next 15 minutes belonged to Hendon but it was the turn of the Bank to defend who eventually conceded a penalty on their 22 which Geraghty pushed over and Hendon, against the odds were ahead 9-16. In the last 10 minutes Bank camped in the Hendon 22 with the visitors stopping all attacks but conceding two further sin binnings with 5minutes to go. Down to 13 Hendon held out to the final whistle.
5th Jan 2013: Hendon 22 – Hackney 38
From the kick off it was all Hackney as Hendon held up their attack for barely 5 minutes before the inevitable try from a pushover maul in the corner. With continued pressure from the visitors, Hendon’s defence improved but were denied any attacking moves. Hackney could not break the home defence when against the run of play Lee Linale took a long kick upfield on 25 minutes. A defensive error allowed Linale the ball, dummied several defenders, linking with JP Cremin on the wing with centre Michael Blake taking the final pass to score in the corner. Hendon then took a hammering in the 10 mins to half-time allowing Hackney to score 3 more tries to take a commanding lead of 5-24 at the break.
Whatever coach Chris Palmer or captain Brian O’Regan said in the interval had its results in the 2nd period. 1st off the mark was Linale who took the ball from a loose maul as Hendon pushed Hackney to defend and again dummied to score in the corner. 5 minutes into the restart and Cosmos Mutuma was sin-binned and Hendon were down to 14 which resulted in Hackney taking advantage of the extra man, pushing the home outfit back over their line to score under the posts. Hendon’s forwards were now dominating and a move set up by Paul Julian to Brian O’Regan with Mutuma, back in play, finishing off to score and Hendon’s spirits were lifted. Minutes later another forward surge from the half-way mark again with Hendon’s pack circulating the ball, it was again Cosmos Mutima with his 2nd try converted by Linale and Hendon closed in at 22-31. Hackney suddenly realised their lead could be slipping and defended against Hendon’s continued pressure. With time running out Hendon could not break the Hackney backline and at the close, against the run of play with Hendon pushing forward, Hackney scored a breakaway try to finish at 22-38.
15th Dec 2012: Verulamians 51 – Hendon 0
Within 15 mins of the start in torrential rain, Verulamians had scored twice out wide to go 10-0 ahead. Hendon came back at Verulamians for prolonged periods in their 22 with the forwards keeping the slippery ball to themselves but good defensive work by the home outfit kept Hendon at bay. Hendon could have taken at least 2 easy penalties at goal but ran the ball for pushover attempts that failed with Chris Towndrow in the forefront of attacks. At 35 minutes Verulamians forwards had a 5 metre scrum and pushed the visitors back to score a pushover try and then finished the half with another well worked backline move to score in the corner 20-0.
Into the 2nd half it was Verulamians on the attack as injuries beset Hendon. Captain Brian O’Regan was the 1st loss after orchestrating the 1st half moves upfield. Three further injuries for ribs, face and shoulder saw Hendon reduced to 14 players against an already dominant Verulamians. Although Hendon’s Paul Julian opened up the Verulamians’ defence with some surging runs with fellow front row Terry Gilbride in support, this could not stop the Home side from scoring 5 more tries to nil to win at 51-0. However to Hendon’s credit, they never gave up and kept the fight on to the end with a spirited performance.
8th Dec 2012: Hendon 15 – Old Actonians 37
Hendon continued to struggle as penalties and defensive errors again cost them dearly.
Within minutes of the start, OA’s went over in the downhill corner after a well executed three-quarter run saw them slice open the Hendon defence. With Hendon on the backfoot it was winger John-Paul Cremin who took the initiative with a long high kick up field which he contested with the OA fullback and Hendon claimed a 10 min penalty converted by John McCarty to make it 3-7. But OA’s came straight back with another penalty and from another Hendon infringement claimed a backline try 3-17. As OA’s played most of the 1st period in Hendon’s half the home outfit were caught offside which led to further OA scores. On 20 minutes a backline run for another try and then a pushover from a 5 metre scrum meant the half finished 3-29.
The turnround with the slope in their favour and another stiff word from Captain Brian O’Regan saw a transformed Hendon take on the OA’s. 1st off the block was winger Cremin with replacement Alex Whittaker setting up an across pitch attack, finished off by Cremin. The Hendon pack realized their strength and punishing charges by Paul Julian supported by Paul Geraghty put OA’s on the defensive. Hendon’s pack were now driving down the pitch and from the OA’s 22 Hendon drove to their line with Terry Gilbride crashing through to score, converted by Steve Brady 15-29 with 10 minutes to go. Injuries then reduced Hendon to 14 having used up all their replacements and though they continued to dominate play OA’s saw the gaps allowing for another penalty and a last move of the game to score an easy try to finish at 15-37. Hendon won the 2nd period 12-8 with the inevitable question of why are they becoming a 2nd half side having to play “catch up rugby”.
24th Nov 2012: Harrow 48 – Hendon 7
From the joy of last week’s win over West London, Hendon were given a quick reminder of what to expect from the League’s leading Club as Harrow convincingly took Hendon apart. The Harrow try count started with 2 minutes played as missed tackles on the Harrow 10-metre line allowed the break and the home team were 7-0 up. Hendon played a defensive game for the rest of the half but Harrow found the gaps to allow in a further 3 tries and 2 penalties to be in a commanding position at 30-0 going into the 2nd half. Throughout the first period Hendon had their moments of possession but ball retention was poor.
Coach Chris Palmer had words with the team at the interval and from the restart the game plan changed with the Hendon forwards driving down the Harrow half but Harrow defended well. A lucky run of the ball allowed Harrow a soft try to add to their scoreline 37-0. The Hendon forwards, with 2nd row Pat Quinn showing the way, again pushed down-field and from a rolling maul in the corner Quinn got the deserved try with Hendon on the scoresheet at 37-7. The game now was more evenly matched but Hendon conceded 2 more penalties as they stopped the Harrow pack from scoring 43-7. Then on almost the last play Harrow ran in a good backline try into the corner to finish at 48-0.
17th Nov 2012: Hendon 20 – West London 15
Hendon played downhill in the 1st half and for 15 minutes kept play in WL territory but without score as WL defended against all Hendon raids. The deadlock was halted when the visitors stopped Lee Linale’s break through but were penalised for offside in the ensuing ruck. Linale stoked the ball through the posts to give Hendon a 3-0 lead. From the restart WL were into the Hendon half in attack, kicked over the Hendon backline which Hendon’s defence had difficulty in collecting giving the WL attack easy possession to score under the posts for a 3-7 lead. Hendon’s forwards raised their game and again camped in the WL 22. Playing backrow Michael Blake went over for a try with the weight of Hendon’s front five in support but the referee adjudged that the ball had been held up. From the scrum Hendon pushed their visitors back over the try line for Captain Brian O’Regan to pick up and score, Linale converting and the Home outfit were 10-7 on 25 minutes. Just before the interval, a member of the WL scrum had words with the referee resulting in a Hendon penalty which Linale slotted over to go 13-7 up.
Into the second half it was WL on the attack with Hendon conceding a penalty as WL narrowed the scoreline to 13-10. JP Cremin then put in the tackle of the match as a WL prop forward was clear to score but was stopped short by the Hendon winger. Hendon’s Paul Julian crashed through the WL defence and, with Chris Towndrow in support, set up a Hendon ruck which scrum-half John McCarthy pushed out to full back Tom Mathias coming into the backline to score a Linale converted try to go 20-10 after 20 mins. With two scores required WL were on the offensive but strong defence from Hendon led by Jamie Connolly kept the visitors out until the 35 minute mark when a gap in the Hendon defence, as Hendon conceded their 2nd sinbining, saw the visitors score in the downhill left hand corner for an unconverted try 20-15. O’Regans men held on to their narrow lead to see the match out and collect 4 well earned league points but still in 10th position in the league.
20th Oct 2012: Old Merchant Taylors 46 – Hendon 0
Once again Hendon were caught on the back foot as they allowed OMT’s with a fast backline all the space they needed to run in a succession of easy tries to secure an easy win as Hendon stay 3rd from bottom of the league.
In the opening minutes it was Hendon taking the game to the home side, who conceded a penalty which was missed by Hendon who might have taken an early lead. OMT came to the Hendon 22 and slotted over an easy penalty to take the lead. Within minutes OMT were 10 pts up as they ran in the 1st of their 5 first half tries as Hendon’s defence proved inadequate against a backline who were not tackled at the 1st attempt. After 20 minutes OMT had another try on the board and a follow up penalty to ease into a 20-0 pt lead. Hendon did not have an answer and from the kick off the ball was pushed wide for OMT to score a further 3 tries before the interval and a score of 41-0.
At half time coach Chris Palmer decided on drastic action and changed the side round bringing on all 3 replacements to avert the inevitable cricket score once again. What a difference as Hendon took ball against the head in the set scrums, OMT were pushed backwards in the mauls and Hendon now balanced and composed were, upfront, the better side. OMT now under pressure conceded two easy penalties to the visitors but Brian O’Regan elected to attack rather than take the lower 6 points. The home side defended well and kept Hendon at bay with nothing to show for the improved efforts with Jamie Connolly and Paul Geraghty leading by example. Then against the run of play, Hendon, having kept the ball tight with the forwards, allowed OMT’s to break loose and score in the corner to go 46-0 up. Hendon were not downbeat, having found their strength they kept up the pressure and ended the game with OMT defending rather than attacking.
13th Oct 2012: Uxbridge 40 – Hendon 28
From the start Hendon were soon on the score-sheet as McCarthy slotted over an early penalty. Within 10 minutes Hendon were ahead by 8 points as Nunez sprinted down the touchline, passing inside for Blake to score. Hendon’s forwards dominated but could not convert to points; on one attacking move a delayed pass was easily intercepted by the Uxbridge backline to score under the post 7-8. On the 25th minute of play, Hendon’s front row won a scrum against the head, McCarthy took on the defence and passed to backrow Connolly to score 7-13. Uxbridge responded immediately with a well worked unconverted try to go into half-time 12-13, but Hendon’s Connolly was yellow carded for a technical offence and so the visitors started the 2nd half with only 14.
Uxbridge seized the opportunity of Hendon being without a Player and from a free kick on the Hendon 22, a gap was found for another Uxbridge converted try 19-13. Next was Hendon’s turn to intercept as Nunez again collects an easy pass to run 70 metres to score in the corner 19-18. Hendon could only have been thinking of their forthcoming 80th anniversary celebrations as they conceded three easy tries. 1st came from a 5-metre penalty after two missed tackles. Next try came from a lost line-out inside the Hendon 22, the receiver easily beating his opponents to score 33-18 and on 25 minutes a kick from defence was delayed, charged down for the backline player to score an easy try under the post.To their credit Hendon did not give up as a return to the Uxbridge 22 saw O’Regan score from a rolling maul 40-23 on 30 minutes. 3 minutes later Hendon were attacking again and from a scrum inside the Uxbrige 22, McCarthy kicked across field for Connolly to collect and score in the corner 40-28.
6th Oct 2012: Hendon 51 – Harlequin Amateurs 17
Hendon clocked up their first win of the season and 5 valuable league points for the win with a bonus point for 4 tries. Captain Brian O’Regan commented, “With a few more of my regular 1st team players returning, this definitely helped but we still need to work on our defence as mistakes still allowed in the Harlequin attack to score some easy tries.”
Hendon were down the slope in the 1st half with Harlequin’s pushing to score in the opening 10 minutes as they kept the home outfit in their half. A kick from defence by Hendon allowed them to mount their 1st attacking move, catching Quins offside and stand off McCarthy slotted over 3-0. Quins saw their opportunity in running the ball wide and scored in the corner as Hendon’s defence was caught yet again 3-5. Strong words from O’Regan galvanised his men to get back to Quins territory and a ruck on the opposition 22 saw the Hendon backline in full swing with returning Linale in form to put Cremin over for his 1st try after 20 minutes, McCarthy converting 10-5. Minutes later Hendon used the backs to good effect, this time Linale scoring, with McCarthy converting 17-5. Hendon were now in the swing of forward thrust and front row Tony Connor was first over in the corner from a maul started on the Quins 22 with a similar move coming up to half-time from a break by Geraghty again in the corner and Hendon were a convincing 27-5 up at the break.
Quins started well into the 2nd half with Hendon’s defence again looking suspect as the visitors ran in an easy score under the post 27-12. Hendon got back into their stride once again through a long pass by Linale to Cremin on the wing to run in a fine try, converted by McCarthy 34-12. It was the combination of Geraghty, Julian and Connor in the pack punching holes in the Quins defence that created a penalty converted by Linale 37-12. Connor then went over the Quin’s line and McCarthy added the extras for a 44-12 scoreline. Hendon took their foot off the pedal and again let in Quins for an easy try 44-17. Then a backrow combination from Blake and Connolly from the Quins 22 saw the next score with Blake finishing under the posts, McCarthy slotting over 51- 17 with minutes to go.
29th Sep 2012: Hendon 6 – Bank of England 43
Bank of England relegated from Divisional League London 3NW showed that they were in no mood to stay put and were looking for a quick return to the next league up. Within 5 minutes they were on the score-sheet using the Hendon slope to good advantage, running the ball wide on the right to score 0-5. Three more tries followed in the same way and after 30 minutes Hendon were 0-21 down and looking down the barrel of a quick firing gun as the home defence crumbled at every run by the BoE backline. From behind the posts some harsh words were uttered to all those that felt tackling was a job for someone else and for the next 10 minutes to half-time Hendon pushed upfield, creating mistakes by the visitors allowing McCarthy to slot over to keep Hendon in the game 3-22.
Into the 2nd half it was Hendon in command with Geraghty and Blake in the forwards leading the onslaught to the BoE line but repeated attempts failed as Julian, O’Regan and McCarthy were all held up by a resolute defence. A consolation penalty allowed McCarthy to slot over for 6 precious points and narrow the deficit to 6-22. Then against the run of play BoE were upfield but kicked away possession, Hendon took the wrong option with the ball being collected by the visitors who strolled over the line for a very easy 7 points undoing the Hendon comeback. Hendon showed resolve and were back downfield and camped in the BoE 22 but did not have the backline to finish off in the next 20 minutes. Then double disaster as in mid-field play a loose ball was not gathered and leaving it to BoE to score again 6-36. To their credit Hendon returned to the BoE half for the last 10 mins and with several attempts on the BoE line failing all the Hendon team were committed to attack; with a 3 on 2 on the blind side for Hendon on what looked like their scoring final, the last pass was left too late and the interception was run with no defence to score and the visitors had another 7 points on the board as the final whistle blew 6-43.
22nd Sep 2012: Hackney 100 – Hendon 5
It was a day to forget for Hendon as they had a total of 16 tries scored against them to a solitary one try to show for their afternoon endeavours. However the one try has kept them off the bottom of the League as Harlequin Amateurs suffered an even worse fate and are rooted to the base position. There was no criticism of his players by Captain Brian O’Regan who appreciated the commitment of the Players available on the day. “I only had a handful of regular 1st team players available, the majority of the day’s selected side were 2nd team guys who could not realistically compete against an above average squad of 18 interchanging Players available to Hackney. I started short with no replacements and when after 5 mins we were down to 13 through injury it became an impossible hill to climb,” he commented. Undoubtedly for Hendon this is a disastrous start to their anniversary season but the playing committee have no doubt the problem will be resolved over the next few weeks.
Even though the match was generally one sided Hendon had their moments with their heavier pack pushing the home side back in the scrums and winning a couple against the head. Hendon were awarded kickable penalties at goal in both halves but all failed to go over to add to their misery. It was 20 minutes into the second half when O’Regan crashed over to score an unconverted try after deciding not to take a penalty kick; from the tap penalty the ball was run wide but reversed passed for O’Regan to bring some joy for the afternoon outing.
15th Sep 2012: Belsize Park 66 – Hendon 5
The match commenced with Belsize Park into the Hendon 22 with no advantage to either. BP were not going forward and Hendon defended their territory until the BP backline had their first taste of a run into the corner to score 5-0 after 10 minutes. Hendon came straight back into the BP 22 were awarded 5 penalties which they ran rather than kicked. But repeated short runs to the BP line by Chris Towndrow, Paul Julian, Cosy Mutuma and Captain Brian O’Regan were all stopped by the resolute BP defence and after 15 minutes of attempts BP kicked long and the visitors had nothing to show for their sustained efforts. BP backline were in action again as they worked a clever move wrong footing the Hendon defence to score a converted try 12-0 after 25 minutes. It was if the stuffing had been knocked out of Hendon as in the space of the next 15 minutes BPran in 3 more tries as the Hendon defence collapsed and for the BP attack it was easy to read as the home side went into a 31-0 lead at half-time.
Into the second half it was BP on the score card first with an overlap try as Hendon’s defence was stretched again to make it 38-0. But the visitors returned again to the BP 22 and from a scrum against the head the ball went wide for Robert ‘Buzz’ Nunez to score out wide after 50 minutes 38-5. Hendon’s scrum started to dominate with drives pushing the BP pack off their own ball and driving mauls to release the Hendon backline, but from attack to counter attack as Park intercepted two Hendon moves, a chip over and a long kick to the BP defence resulted in the dominant home backline running in 4 more tries and an impressive 66-5 scoreline.
2nd Team Match Reports
22nd Sep 2012: Welwyn 3s 68 – Hendon 2s 0
The Super 2s travelled to Welwyn missing several second team regulars who were called up to the first team and as a result only had 13 players available. Welwyn, in the spirit of the merit table, offered a couple of replacement players to Hendon to even out the numbers and at least keep the game competitive. Welwyn did the basics well and their tries followed from that. They were strong in rucks and mauls, and once the ball went through the hands to their back line the 2s offered little resistance. However, building on last week’s loss against Hemel Hempstead, there were passages of much stronger play from the Super 2s and the players left the pitch feeling happier than the week before.