Deja vu as Hendon miss the target with decisive late penalty
- Credit: Archant
Hendon suffered an agonising feeling of déjà vu as they missed a decisive late long-range penalty in a 21-20 home defeat to second-placed London French.
The Dons lost 22-20 against Saracens Amateurs on their own turf at the start of October, with captain Cian Hynes’ 35m penalty just missing the target in the final kick of the game – and history repeated itself on Saturday.
Hendon trailed by one point in the last few minutes, despite outscoring their visitors by three tries to two. And, although they won a penalty 40m out, the strike at goal drifted wide of the posts, resulting in a second successive defeat and a fourth loss from the opening six games.
Title contenders London French were quickly on the front foot, scoring tries either side of a Hynes penalty and taking a 12-3 lead – but Hendon hit back from the restart, with Hynes sending Dave Francis under the posts and then adding the conversion.
The visitors edged five points clear with a penalty, however the first half ended 15-15 as man of the match Harry Charles beat three defenders and freed Gerry O’Donoghue, who scored in the corner.
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London French drew first blood in the second period with another penalty, but Francis broke through and Charles saw off a number of would-be tacklers to dot down out wide and put his side ahead for the first time at 20-18.
An offside infringement then allowed French to kick their way back into the lead, but Hendon had a final opportunity to turn the tables at the end. Unfortunately the distance was too great and the match-defining effort slipped wide.
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