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Evans above! Hendon progress to Middlesex Vase semi-finals

10:19 25 February 2014

Mike Evans-Jones. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Mike Evans-Jones. Pic: Paolo Minoli

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Mike Evans-Jones scored a try and three kicks as Hendon came from behind to triumph 17-11 at Mill Hill and progress into the semi-finals of the Middlesex Vase.

Hendon were visiting a side who current sit second in Herts/Middlesex Division Three – the league below them – but they were missing a host of first-team regulars.

Mill Hill exerted early pressure and, although the visitors’ defence held up, they conceded two penalties which left them 6-0 down.

Hendon then took control, starting the fightback with a penalty of their own as Evans-Jones halved the deficit – and the forwards then set up a series of rucks and mauls.

Tommy Middleton pushed his way over the whitewash but was adjudged to have been held up, and Roddy Walsh was stopped just short from a pick-up move on the try-line.

Hendon had the momentum, but they suffered a setback at the end of the first half as Evans-Jones was sin-binned for an offside offence.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the visitors stayed on the front foot after the interval – and they went close again 10 minutes after the restart as John Paul Cremin declined to dot back in the corner, instead passing back inside, where the pass was knocked on.

Eventually Brian O’Regan chipped the ball over the Mill Hill defence and winger Judah Simpson collected it before feeding Evans-Jones, who touched down and then converted his own try to put his side 10-6 ahead.

Hendon extended their lead 10 minutes from time as captain Ger O’Donoghue finished off a fine backs move, and Evans- Jones converted again to make it 17-6.

With the match secure, Hendon relaxed in the closing period and Mill Hill took advantage to score a consolation try out wide.

Hendon return to league action on Saturday with a home match against Hillingdon Abbots.

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