Five-star Hendon move off the bottom with their first victory

Hendon captain Gerry O'Donaghue (centre) was a try-scorer for his side. Pics: Paolo Minoli

Hendon captain Gerry O'Donaghue (centre) was a try-scorer for his side. Pics: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hendon recorded their first victory of the season on Saturday, scoring five tries to win an early basement battle with West London 27-17 and move four places up the table into seventh place in Herts/Middlesex Division Two.

John McCarthy was also on the scoresheet for Hendon

John McCarthy was also on the scoresheet for Hendon - Credit: Archant

Hosts Hendon lay bottom of the table before kick-off, with their visitors immediately above them, but the home side ran out victorious – and picked up a bonus point.

Hendon were playing uphill in the first half but they had all of the possession for the opening 10 minutes.

Despite that, they only had a missed penalty to show for it, and West London were able to get into the game before earning a penalty of their own – which they converted to take a 3-0 lead against the run of play.

Yet Hendon’s forwards were dominating their opponents and returning second row Dave Connell was excelling with some driving runs, which paid dividends midway through the first period.


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He released Toby Ikwueke, who broke the visitors’ defence – and, although he was stopped short of the line, Chris Towndrow picked up the ball to crash from the ensuing maul and score a converted try which put the hosts 7-3 ahead.

Five minutes later Connell broke upfield and unleashed the backs again, and this time it was full-back John McCarthy who took the last pass to score and increase the lead to 12-3 at the interval.

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Hendon’s pack continued their dominance after the break and, almost from the restart, they won the ball from a West London scrum and fed the ball down the line for captain Gerry O’ Donoghue, who touched down.

Six minutes later the move was repeated and winger Danny Blake crossed the line to give the hosts a healthy 22-3 advantage.

They looked set to score again as Brian O’Regan and the forwards pushed forward again, but an intercepted pass allowed a West London defender to run the length of the pitch and narrow the gap to 22-10.

Hendon introduced their replacements, but it made them look uncoordinated and they started to cough up possession.

West London now looked the more positive side after their try, but fine tackling by Ikwueke kept them at bay – and 15 minutes from time Hendon resumed control as Michael Blake scored his side’s fifth try.

With the game won and the final whistle about to blow, the home side defence relaxed and allowed their visitors to break through and score another consolation try, but the day belonged to Hendon, who visit Uxbridge this weekend.

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