Late lapse proves costly for Hendon against Enfield Ignatians

Action during Hendon RFC vs Cranbrook RFC, RFU Junior Vase Rugby Union at Allianz Park on 14th March

Action during Hendon RFC vs Cranbrook RFC, RFU Junior Vase Rugby Union at Allianz Park on 14th March 2020

A spirited Hendon outfit outclassed higher league opponents Enfield Ignatians until the closing minutes, when they lost 33-26.

Hendon looked to be on the back foot before kick off with many of their first team squad injured from the previous fixtures. Only three forwards and four from the backline were available, supported by regular second team and new players.

From the kick off, Hendon played with the slope advantage and pressured the visitors, who conceded a penalty after 10 mins on the five-metre line. Forward Nick Andrews collected and scored from short range ,with Cian Hynes converting for a 7-0 lead.

Five minutes later Enfield attacked upfield and putting their left winger to level the scores at 7-7.

Chris Kiyingi set up the next Hendon score with a fine carry through the centre, taking four opponents to stop him, with scrum half Dobby Wildman feeding JT Moncher to score in the corner 12-7 midway through the first period.

Again Enfield came back – their heavier forwards crashing through the Hendon defence, allowing their fly half to finish off under the post with a converted try at 12-14.

A determined effort from the home outfit was finished off with a textbook score out wide by Moncher, with Hendon Coach Phil Smith delighted to see one of his training moves executed in fashion. Hynes converted from the touchline and Hendon were back in front 19-14.

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Hendon maintained the offload format with Hynes setting up the next attack, with Rob Casey collecting to make the final pass to Man of the Match Andreas Romero to score on 35 mins. Hynes converted and Hendon were 26-14 ahead at the turnaround.

Into the second period and Hendon were up the slope into the Enfield 22, but resilient defence by the visitors kept Hendon at bay.

Pack leader for Hendon Rossa Dooley put in another great performance with many turnovers from tackles. Romero took on forwards twice his side as tackle after tackle from him stopped the more physical Enfield outfit from scoring.

However, in to the last 15 mins the relentless forward play by Enfield won over the spirited Hendon defence as one of their props eventually scored from five metres to close in on Hendon at 26-21.

Hendon were now under constant pressure and a long kick by Enfield gave them pitch position for their forwards to set up the next score from short distance to take the lead at 26-28.

Although the hosts took the play back up field, it was Enfield who kicked long again from defence with Hendon caught in attack attempting a late score. Enfield ran in the last move out wide to score in the corner for a final score-line of 26-33.

Hendon captain Cian Hynes said: “As a club,  to know that I could walk out on the pitch with anyone and to see the level of effort and passion was nothing short of inspirational.”