Hendon seal a narrow victory over local rivals Finchley

T OÕSullivan of Hendon RFC scores the fourth try during Hendon RFC vs Cranbrook RFC, RFU Junior Vase

T OÕSullivan of Hendon RFC scores the fourth try during Hendon RFC vs Cranbrook RFC, RFU Junior Vase Rugby Union at Allianz Park on 14th March 2020 - Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo

Hendon sealed a narrow 26-19 victory over local rivals Finchley in the second of round robin fixtures.

Both Finchley and Hendon played an even spread of first and second team players. Each team rotated their 23 players throughout the match,  played under adapted laws without scrums and mauls but with full tackling and line-outs.

With the strong wind to their backs, it was Finchley on the attack in the opening 10 mins, with the visitors committed to defending successfully their territory.

Then a break from defence saw Hendon’s Luke Pollard storm through three tackles from midfield to the Finchley 22, off-loading to Rob Casey to score under the posts with Cian Hynes slotting over the conversion 0-7.

Finchley continued to kick into the Hendon 22 with the wind but Hendon defence held out with full back Charlie Scarr excelling.

However, Finchley broke through the Hendon defence on 25 mins with an overlap in attack with their winger finishing off with a converted try to even the scores at 7-7.

Another score went to Finchley after several attempts, after taking the advantage from a Hendon miss-pass from defence  giving the Home outfit a narrow lead at 12-7.

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Hendon continued to keep the ball tight and Rossa Dooley made carry after carry from defence allowing, in the 35th minute Hynes to set up a backline move to the Finchley 22. It was collected by new scrum half “Dobby” Wildman to score an unconverted try out wide for Hendon to draw level at 12-12 at the break.

Into the second period, Hendon were straight into attack, with Chris Kiyingi  collecting from Aidan McCarthy on the Finchley 22  to power over for a try converted by Hynes. 12-19.

Prop Nick Andrews had the next carry from defence to the Finchley 10, with Casey then Dooley brushing aside several attempted tackles to score with Hynes converting 12-26.

Into the closing minutes, a break from defence by Finchley allowed their winger to score a converted try and narrow the score line to 19-26. As the match concluded Finchley were attacking but Hendon’s resolute defence held strong to the end.

Hendon coach Phil Smith said: “Our Players adapted well for a real squad performance; despite picking up a number of injuries, the boys desire to win and pride shown was enough to see them home."