Captain Lee leads the way for Hendon

HENDON skipper Lee Linale led by example when he slotted four penalties to clinch a crucial victory in Saturday’s Herts/Middx League One match at Copthall.

Hendon were forced to play a weakened team and initially looked to have it all to do when they conceded a try in the first half.

However, the Copthall outfit refused to go down without a fight and Linale’s accuracy with the boot won the day.

Playing uphill in the first half Hendon, who had not played for a month, were quickly pinned down by the robust Harlequin side.

The visitors’ pressure appeared to have paid off when they were awarded two kickable penalties, but missed them both.

Harlequins kept up the pressure and looked certain to open the scoring when their winger broke through the Hendon defence, only to be halted by a superb tackle from fullback JP Cremin.

The pattern continued with Harlequin continuing to dominate, and it wasn’t until the 25th minute that Hendon first forced their way past the visitors’ 22-metre line.

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That attack was short-lived as Hendon swiftly regained control of the contest.

Taking scrum options from another two penalties Harlequin piled on the pressure and eventually got their reward when they scored from a pushover try that went unconverted.

The visitors kept up the pressure and looked certain to maintain the five-point advantage at the turnaround, but in the last minute of the half Linale slotted a penalty to reduce the deficit to two points.

The roles were reversed in the second half as the home side started to gain the upper hand.

A scrum from 10m out saw Hendon push over for a possible try, but a Quins player kicked it out illegally and another scrum was awarded.

Harlequin were penalised again for offside and Linale made no mistake with the resulting penalty, slotting over for a 6-5 lead.

Hendon’s well-drilled pack began to dominate and Linale slotted another two penalties in the closing minutes add to the tally.

Hendon seek to continue thier good start the New Year when they welcome Saracen Amateurs to Copthall on Saturday.

? IN Division Two Belsize Park lost 13-6 to Old Millhillians.