Herts Middlesex One: UCS Old Boys 21 Hendon 23
- Credit: Archant
Hendon’s Cian Hynes helped them secure a narrow 23-21 victory over local rivals UCS Old Boys in their Herts Middlesex One derby at the weekend.
The Old Boys had Hendon on the back foot in the opening 10 minutes, playing with the slope, and the pressure told when Charlie Esdon took a pass along the line from a maul between the opposition posts in their 22.
Esdon then broke through two attempted tackles to touch down between the posts and open the scoring.
Hendon, by then, had acclimatised to the short pitch and from the restart took the ball on the UCS 22 and drove the maul over the line with TJ O’Sullivan scoring out wide, with Hynes’ outstanding conversion given them a 7-5 lead.
Back came the hosts, though, as Esdon broke through a maul as it was forming to carry the ball 10 metres into the Hendon 22 and give a perfectly-timed pass to allow hooker Alex Turton to score under the posts.
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Esdon continued to influence and put the Old Boys in command when running from fully 40 yards to go over in the corner for another unconverted try.
But on the half-hour mark the visitors pushed up field as UCS were penalised in a ruck and Hynes slotted over a penalty to make it 15-10.
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UCS then set up another backline move but O’Sullivan intercepted a pass to race through and score under the posts with Hynes converting and Hendon were ahead again 17-15.
The lead was shortlived as the hosts slotted a penalty for an 18-17 half-time advantage.
Hynes missed an early penalty from inside his own half in the second half, but made no mistake with a second to nudge them 20-18 in front, but UCS soon replied with to move into a 21-20 lead.
The see-saw game entered the final 10 minutes with both sides still in with a chance of winning and Hynes edged Hendon ahead when the hosts were penalised.
But the game came down to one crucial kick as UCS were awarded a late penalty in Hendon’s 22, but they missed and Hendon celebrated a hard-fought win.
This Saturday, Hendon are at home to London Welsh at Copthall (3pm), while UCS Old Boys travel to London French.
UCSOB: Ghanem, A Turton, Beank, Pope (Filip), Ovens (Gourlay), Jones, Sanders, Zabci, Boxer, Cooper, Ruzzon, Arnold, Esdon, S Turton, Breakwell.