Hendon survive fightback to overcome Ickenham and climb out of bottom two

Mike Evans-Jones. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Mike Evans-Jones. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hendon survived a fightback to beat Ickenham 13-7, recording a much-needed second victory of the season and climbing out of the bottom two into eighth spot in Herts/Middlesex Division Two.

Hendon had scored four or more tries in their previous two games, picking up a bonus point on each occasion but losing the match. This time it was a different story as they struggled to put points on the board but ultimately came out on top.

Captain Ger O’Donoghue said: “Whatever decisions we made on the field, which on reflection could have been more positive, a win is a win and we have four much-deserved points.

“All credit to the lads, who defended to the end as Ickenham found fresh legs that could so easily have turned the result.”

Playing uphill in the first half, Hendon looked the better side, with returning scrum-half Lee Linale and No8 Brian O’Regan making incisive runs – and a series of rucks and mauls concluded with Andy Walsh crashing through the defence to put Hendon 5-0 up.

There was no let-up and Mike Evans-Jones slotted over a penalty to give the hosts an 8-0 lead at the break – and O’Regan then had a try disallowed after the restart as the referee adjudged that the ball had been held up in the maul.

It did not matter as Evans-Jones touched down out wide with an unconverted try to establish a 13-0 advantage.

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But, despite now playing downhill, Hendon allowed their visitors back into the game, being pushed back by the Ickenham forwards and conceding a converted try.

That cut the gap to six points, and Ickenham pushed for a winning score, looking like the better side in the closing stages.

The nervy climax was exacerbated by the fact that Hendon picked was two players sin-binned for technical offences, leaving them to defend the final attacks with only 13 men – but they held on.