Hendon secure first win in London league over Finsbury Park

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 - Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo

Hendon were still rusty, but managed to muster up a 18-15 victory over Finsbury Park, following the disappointment of only playing 18 minutes last week.

However, the visitors' defence held up until their first attacking move up field, catching Finsbury Park offside.

Captain Cian Hynes felt the points would be crucial, hence opted for a long penalty kick from the FP 10 metre line which succeeded 3-0. 

Back into attack FP pressured the Hendon defence once again with their backline eventually breaking through to score a converted try to go ahead 7-3 midway through the period.

Hendon’s pack then demonstrated their intent as from the next scrum, the front row of Luke Pollard, Larry Moore and Mitch Hammond took control sending the FP pack backwards with backrow Marius Von Moltke picking up on the Hendon 22 to reach the FP 10 line until stopped with the home side once again attacking into Hendon territory.

Defence tackling, notably by centres Tom Mathias and Toby Ikwueke and back row Conor Bowler, prevented another break through by the experienced FP backs. However, Hendon conceded a number of penalties, allowing FP to kick another penalty to stretch the lead to 10-3.

Into the final minutes of the first period and Hendon were still intent not to let the match slip even further from their grasp, with the forwards and backs combining to allow Will Theaker to score out wide with Hynes converting to level the scores 10-10 for the half-time whistle.

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Only a few minutes into the second-half, Hendon pushed the ball wide to be stopped on the far right on the FP 22 with the ball coming back to Theaker again on the left to touchdown for an unconverted try 10-15.

Rossa Doley turned the ball over in both line outs and rucks, allowing Hynes to kick from defence to win Henson’s first throw in advantage.

Finsbury Park were caught offside from the restart, where Hynes took the kick as Hendon stretched their lead to 18-10.

Finsbury mounted the pressure with a long kick to the visitors 22 with Hendon conceding a defensive error for the home outfit to score in the corner an unconverted try.

It was a nail-biting finish, but Hendon held on for the victory.

Hendon coach Phil Smith said: “All 18 of the team deserve to be man of the match but in the final count I could not split  Dooley, Theaker and Von Moltke who shared the honours."