Mutuma seals Hendon’s greatest comeback

COSY Mutuma ran in four second-half tries as Hendon launched an astonishing fightback to snatch a 35-35 draw from the jaws of defeat against Verulamians on Saturday.

Hendon looked well and truly beaten after half an hour, trailing 35-0 after being on the wrong end of five converted tries from the Verulamians back division.

But Helio Vincente reduced the arrears with a crucial unconverted try before half-time, and that proved the platform for a rousing second-half display from the visitors.

Led by Mutuma, they gradually forced their way back into the contest to steal the unlikeliest of draws, boosting their chances of a respectable top-half finish in Herts/Middx League 1.

There was little sign of Hendon’s revival at the break, trailing 35-8 after being outclassed by their rampant opponents, but some strong words from coach Dave Maskell bore immediate fruit in the second period.

Hendon changed tactics, with their forwards driving upfield against the slope and second row Luke McEnemy in supreme form, creating a series of forward drives from which his side profited time and again.

Mutuma picked up and finished off three moves, all of which were converted by Lee Linale, as Hendon suddenly closed the gap to 35-25.

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And Mutuma was the man again as from a 22 lineout he crashed through the Verulamians defence to score his fourth try under the posts. Linale converted, to leave Hendon just three points off their hosts and with the momentum.

With a minute on the clock the seemingly impossible became reality, as Hendon again brushed off the weakening Verulamians defence and won a penalty.

Linale scored it, sealing the draw and a bonus point as Hendon left the field with their heads held high after a superb second-half performance.