Hendon’s fine form continues with fifth victory from six games at Thamesians

John McCarthy (centre) scored Hendon's first try. Pic: Paolo Minoli

John McCarthy (centre) scored Hendon's first try. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hendon’s fine form continued as they won their fifth game from their opening six league fixtures, gaining revenge over a Thamesians side who beat them twice last season with a 21-14 away win.

Tom Mathias was a key man as Hendon defended their lead in the second half. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Tom Mathias was a key man as Hendon defended their lead in the second half. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Scrum-half Lee Linale scored 11 points with a try and three conversions, while John McCarthy and Brian O’Regan also crossed the line to give the visitors a half-time lead which they defended successfully in the second half.

The only frustration for Hendon will be that, despite their latest victory and recent results, they dropped a place in the Herts/Middlesex Division Two table.

Indeed, their lack of bonus points means they lie down in sixth spot, six points behind leaders Hillingdon Abbotts, who have the same record of five wins from their six games.

Thamesians started well and took a seventh-minute lead with the opening try, and the visitors had to defend for another five minutes after that.

But Roddy Walsh then broke from a driving maul to set up a ruck five metres out, and Linale passed to McCarthy, who jinked inside to beat two defenders and score under the posts, giving Linale a simple conversion as Hendon took a 7-5 lead.

Thamesians attacked again through their forwards and, when Hendon were caught offside, they re-established their advantage with a penalty, going 8-7 up.

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But Linale’s long kick out of defence was knocked on by the Thamesians full-back. And, with hooker Dan Downes in top form, the Dons took full advantage from the ensuing scrum as number eight O’Regan picked up and set up Linale, who went down the blind side to score a converted try.

Hendon were reduced to 14 men shortly before the interval as the referee punished another technical offence with a yellow card.

However, but they extended their lead, capitalising on another Thamesian error as O’Regan pounced on a dropped ball and went over the line, with Linale’s conversion giving Hendon a 21-8 lead at the interval.

The home side dominated the second half but the Dons defended stoutly, led by Tom Mathias and Arudel Roberts, to ensure that they only conceded two penalty kicks, which gave Thamesians a losing bonus point.

Hendon are not in league action this weekend but host Old Isleworthians on November 15.

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