Hendon coach sees positive signs despite defeat

Hendon's Cosy Mutuma on the charge. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hendon's Cosy Mutuma on the charge. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hendon coach Chris Palmer was pleased to see his side putting their training sessions into practise, even though they lost their Herts/Middlesex Division Two opener 17-9 at home against London Welsh.

Toby Ikwueke and Cosy Mutuma went close to scoring tries but the hosts had to settle for three penalty kicks – and their visitors ran in three scores to earn an away win.

Palmer said: “Much of our training was evident in the match and, with a change in tactics during the second half, once the ball was secured we should have crossed their line for a closer finish.”

Hendon and London Welsh were relegated together last season, and LW won both of last term’s meetings convincingly – but this was a much closer affair.

Scott Handley slotted an early penalty and then missed a chance to repeat to feat, which looked costly as the visitors scored a converted try after their first attack and then touched down again after winning a scrum against the head.

Hendon centre Ikwueke looked to be heading for a try after an interception, but a high tackle meant the home side had to settle for a Michael Blake penalty kick, making it 12-6 at half-time.

LW extended their lead with a well-worked try, but from then on it was all Hendon and, when LW were penalised for stopping Mutuma’s charge, Handley cut the deficit to eight points – but that was as close as they got.