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Hendon ease to opening-day success over Barnet Elizabethans

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 September 2018

The new rugby season is now underway (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

The new rugby season is now underway (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Herts/Middlesex One: Hendon 43 Barnet Elizabethans 12

Hendon began the new Herts/Middlesex One season in fine form with a 43-12 success at home to Barnet Elizabethans.

The Greenlands Lane club played up the slope in the first half, with scrum-half Billy Burrell scoring the first try by diving over from a driving scrum to touch down in the eighth minute, with fullback Dan Watterson adding the conversion.

Hendon’s forwards soon realised their ability to push Barnet off their own scrums, resulting in the next score as the visiting scrum-half was caught and in losing the ball, Burrell gathered, before passing to wing Will Theaker to score a try on debut. Watterson added the extras as the Greenlands Lane club led 14-0 after a quarter of an hour.

Several midfield runs by Barnet were stopped by the Hendon defence, with Mike Culhane particularly impressive.

Carries through the midfield by prop Paul Julian created platforms for hosts to attack, but Elizabethans’ defence held good.

That was until the 35th minute when their backline was caught offside in their 22, allowing Watterson to successfully kick a penalty.

In the last minute of the first period, Hendon were caught as Barnet created an overlap to score in the corner to trail 17-5 at the break.

The visitors also scored the first try of the second half, intercepting a long pass to run the length of the pitch and score a converted try to cut the gap to five points.

Hendon immediately took control from the restart and from a ruck, Nick Andrews picked up on the Barnet 22 to run through the defence to score with Watterson converting to make it 24-12 in the 55th minute.

The Greenlands Lane club’s training skills were then applied in winning possession from line outs, scrums and breakdowns.

A run by TJ O’Sullivan from the hosts 22 to near the Barnet line was stopped short, but created the opportunity for the next score as Donal O’Sullivan collected from the resulting scrum to beat four defenders to score, with Watterson converting.

In the closing 10 minutes, Hendon’s back line found space with Adam Johnson scoring from a well-worked move, with Watterson again converting.

Hendon capped the win in the final minute when Culhane dotted down for the last try of the game after a brilliant run from stand-in skipper Toby Ikwueke.

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