Late penalty secures a dramatic victory for Hendon as they begin life in a new league
- Credit: Archant
Mike Evans-Jones kicked a penalty at the death as Hendon started life in Herts/Middlesex Division One with a dramatic 22-19 victory over local rivals Barnet Elizabethans.
The Dons, who were promoted last season, led 14-0 at half-time and then 19-14, only to concede an equalising score with five minutes left – but Evans-Jones struck with less than two minutes remaining to get the season off to a winning start.
Hendon were playing downhill in the first half and took a 10th-minute lead as a turnover from Donal O’Sullivan gave Evans-Jones the chance to jink through four defenders, touch down and add the conversion.
The advantage was then increased on the half-hour mark as JP Cremin took a quick penalty and Mick Cullhane scored from a driving maul.
Hendon were 14-0 up at the break but Barnet had the advantage of the slope after the turnaround and took just 10 minutes to level the scores.
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The hosts soon struck back and regained their lead, kicking a penalty into touch, winning the line-out and forcing their way over the line, with O’Sullivan grounding the ball – but there was another setback as Barnet equalised again five minutes from time.
Hendon refused to be denied, though, and attacked once more, winning a penalty – and Evans-Jones held his nerve to slot the ball between the sticks.
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Haringey Rhinos’ first team kick off their campaign in Herts/Middlesex Division Two this Saturday, hosting Mill Hill.
In the meantime, their second XV took beat Old Isleworthians 22-17 in a Merit League Table fixture.
Israel Lawson’s try put Haringey 5-0 up at the break and captain Paddy Woodman then kicked a penalty while Gareth Kirk scored two converted tries to establish a 22-7 lead.
Isleworthians hit back, crossing the whitewash twice to narrow the gap to five points, but the Rhinos saw the game out.