Captain Cian is Hendon hero in thrilling victory against Haringey Rhinos

Cian Hynes was the Hendon hero with a 16-point haul – including a vital late conversion – to seal a dramatic late 31-29 win against north London rivals Haringey Rhinos.

The sides exchanged the lead throughout a frenetic encounter, with Hendon coming from 24-17 behind in the second half to secure a win that keeps them second in the London Two North-West table.

In a match played at an incredible pace on Haringey’s artificial pitch, Hendon were dominant early on but it was Haringey who broke through as Terry Kirk fed Dan Thomas to touch down, with the try converted by Hugo Murray.

Hendon responded quickly, however, as Derry O’Connor collected and ran in a try in the corner which captain Hynes slotted over to bring his side level.

In the last minute of the first half Hendon allowed the lighter Haringey pack to maul to the Hendon line and go over for a 12-7 lead – the conversion charged down by Tom Mathius.

Again, Hendon were indebted to their skipper as Hynes collected from the base of the Hendon scrum on the Haringey 22 to score in the corner and convert his own try.

And 14-12 became 17-12 as Hendon forwards Paul Geraghty and Chris Towndrow pushed into the Haringey half and the hosts conceded a penalty that Hynes converted.

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Once again, Haringey came storming back as Charlie Rigg ran in a try under the posts – and they quickly added another through Kirk to ease into a seemingly match-defining 24-17 lead.

Hendon needed to reduce the deficit quickly, and they did just that as Mike Evans-Jones collected a poor Haringey pass on the 10m line and avoided two defenders to score. Hynes, inevitably, kicked the conversion to make it 24-24 as the clock ticked down.

Again, Haringey took the lead as Nik Abramishvili crossed the line – but this time the conversion was missed, allowing Hendon to stay in the contest.

It proved crucial as the match went on to end in controversy. Rhinos skipper Derry was adjudged to have kneed a Hendon player in the back, earning him a yellow card and giving Hendon a penalty just outside the 22.

Hynes kicked the penalty to touch and from the lineout Towndrow broke through to score. Hynes kicked the vital two points to seal a remarkable victory for Hendon.