Hendon lose out to leaders - but it’s an honourable defeat

Mike Evans-Jones (centre) scored a late consolation try for Hendon. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Mike Evans-Jones (centre) scored a late consolation try for Hendon. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hendon completed the first phase of their league campaign with a 17-7 home defeat against Hillingon Abbots in Herts/Middlesex Division One – although they limited the leaders to their lowest winning margin of the season.

Hendon, who had already finished in the top six and earned their spot in the elite group for the second stage of the season, were 17-0 down at the break against a side who have averaged 54 points per match.

However, they won the second half and closed the gap to 10 points at the end, courtesy of Mike Evans-Jones’ try.

Hendon were playing up the hill and against the wind in the first period and they conceded a converted try after 15 minutes before the visitors slotted over an easy penalty.

The Abbots struck again from a rolling maul on the half-hour mark, going 17-0 up, but Hendon fought back after the break, led by Arwel Roberts, while Terry Gilbride won three scrums against the head.

Hillingdon conceded a number of penalties, which all went wide from distance. But, in the closing minutes, another infringement gave the hosts a five-metre scrum, and Evans-Jones dived over for a converted try.

The second phase of league matches, as the top six teams face each other again and battle for promotion, commences on February 21.

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