Hendon secure their spot in elite group after dominant victory at Uxbridge

Hendon captain Ger O'Donoghue touched down twice. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hendon captain Ger O'Donoghue touched down twice. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hendon secured their place among the top six teams that will battle it out for promotion in phase two of Herts/Middlesex Division Two after a dominant 41-9 victory away at Uxbridge.

A brace from captain Ger O’Donoghue and another three tries from Cian Hynes, Arwel Roberts and Buzz Nunez gave Hendon the bonus-point victory that keeps them in third place ahead of the final round of fixtures in the first phase of the division on January 31.

The Dons are now seven points clear of sixth-placed Watford and are therefore assured of a place in the top-six group when the league splits into two parts at the end of the month.

Uxbridge opened up a 6-0 lead with two penalty kicks, but the visitors slowly moved through the gears and went in front when Mike Evans-Jones sliced through the Uxbridge defence to send Hynes under the posts.

In a fairly even first half, Hynes added a further two penalties to Uxbridge’s one – but O’Donoghue gave the visitors a more comfortable team talk with a second Hendon try before the interval.

The captain touched down in the corner after a well-worked backline move created by Tommy Middleton, and with Hynes converting, Hendon led 20-9 at the turnaround.

The result was put beyond doubt early in the second period as O’Donoghue produced a carbon copy of his first try, only this time in the opposite corner. Hynes also added the extras again as Hendon’s superiority began to show.

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Uxbridge continued to pressure the Dons’ forwards but the away team’s back row of Jamie Connolly, Dan Ledger and Brian O’Regan stood firm, and full-back Roberts then broke clear to score another converted try, gaining the bonus point in the process.

There was no let-up in the remaining few minutes, as Ledger charged down a clearance to allow replacement Nunez to pick up and score in the corner.

The impressive Hynes duly dispatched the conversion as Hendon racked up another victory going into their crunch home match with leaders Hillingdon Abbots a week on Saturday.