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Hendon break the deadlock to overcome Uxbridge

15:12 14 January 2014

Hendon captain Ger O

Hendon captain Ger O'Donoghue. Pic: Paolo Minoli

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Hendon struck twice in the last 15 minutes to end a tight stalemate against midtable rivals Uxbridge, triumphing 10-0 and securing their fifth victory from six games in Herts/Middlesex Division Two.

The muddy match was scoreless for more than an hour but, with just over 10 minutes remaining, Mike Bevan-Jones put the hosts ahead with a penalty kick, and Judah Simpson scored a converted try in the dying stages.

Hendon remain sixth in the table but they have now closed the gap on fifth-placed Uxbridge to two points, while moving 12 points clear of seventh-placed Ickenham, who have a game in hand.

The home side were playing against the slope and the wind in the first half and they started on the back foot, watching with relief as Uxbridge missed the target with two penalty kicks.

Although Uxbridge kept up the pressure, they could not finish – largely thanks to bold defending from full-back Tom Mathias and flanker Mark Ivers.

Hendon managed to turn the tide towards the end of the first period, with captain Ger O’Donoghue and No8 Brian O’Regan setting up an attack, but the ball slipped loose and the two sides went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.

The hosts lost Dave Connell through injury after the interval, lightening the scrum and handing the advantage to Uxbridge in the set piece.

However, they now had the benefit of the wind and slope, and Bevan-Jones’ long kicks kept Uxbridge in their own half.

That pressure resulted in two penalties – the second of which went between the sticks – and forwards Terry Gilbride and Paul Geraghty then began to take control as the visitors tired.

Five minutes from time, Geraghty broke blind before passing to winger Simpson, who beat three men to touch down under the posts, while Bevan-Jones added the extras.

Hendon are in next in action away against second-placed Feltham on January 25.

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