Depleted Hendon suffer comprehensive cup defeat to Thetford
12:22 18 October 2016
A depleted Hendon side fought hard but bowed out of the RFU Junior Vase Cup after being outclassed 71-22 by unbeaten Eastern Counties League One leaders Thetford.
The Dons were without eight key players – but even a full-strength side would have struggled to compete with a well-drilled Thetford side bursting with experience.
Playing downhill in the first half, Thetford ran the ball at every opportunity and took the lead after just five minutes with a well-worked try through the home defence.
They added three more converted tries prior to the half-hour mark – but the final 10 minutes of the first period belonged to Hendon, who managed to get on the scoresheet twice through rolling mauls uphill.
Forward breaks by Donal O’Sullivan and Brian O’Regan enabled Arwel Roberts and then Toby Ikwueke to score, with Cian Hynes adding a conversion to make it 28-12 at the turnaround.
That gave Hendon a glimmer of hope – but the visitors’ back row immediately created havoc from the base of the scrum at the start of the second half, with the ball recycled for two quick scores.
The Dons hit back from another maul, with O’Regan breaking off and setting up JP Cremin for an unconverted try in the corner before Thetford ran in three more scores at five-minute intervals.
O’Sullivan crossed the whitewash to reduce the deficit to 59-22 and the home side pressed again, with Roberts being held up on the line, but Thetford rounded off a comprehensive win with two further tries of their own.
Hendon are back in Herts/Middlesex League One action on Saturday, when they take on Wasps Amateurs at Copthall.