Hendon’s fightback is in vain as they suffer first defeat in new division

Cian Hynes was successful with two kicks and nearly grabbed victory for Hendon at the death. Pic: Pa

Cian Hynes was successful with two kicks and nearly grabbed victory for Hendon at the death. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hendon suffered their first defeat in Herts/Middlesex Division One despite a sterling fightback as captain Cian Hynes’ decisive last-minute penalty slipped just past the posts.

The newly-promoted hosts, who had won their opening fixture and been given a walkover in their second game, endured a difficult first half against Saracens Amateurs on Saturday.

Offside infringements were penalised and clinically converted – and although Hynes got his side on the board with a successful penalty of his own, Hendon trailed 12-3 at the interval.

Matters quickly worsened within a minute of the restart as the visitors pounced on a loose ball to score the first try and went 19-3 up – but the Dons battled back.

Strong work from the forwards, particularly Harry Charles and Tommy Middleton, gave Hynes the chance to set up Chris Kiyingy, who went over the whitewash – and the winger then scored again, followed by Middleton, while Hynes’ conversion from close to the touchline put Hendon 20-19 ahead.

The lead changed hands again after a Saracens drop goal but Hendon were given a final chance to come from behind again and grab victory at the death.

In the last play, the referee awarded a penalty 35 metres out – but it proved to be just too far away for Hynes, whose effort crept just wide, leaving his side with just a losing bonus point for their efforts.

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Meanwhile, UCS Old Boys were also defeated in the same division, going down 50-7 at home against league leaders Verulamians.

Elsewhere, it was a similar tale for Haringey Rhinos, who were thrashed 66-0 away against Thamesians, who sit top of the Herts/Middlesex Division Two table on points difference.