Rugby round-up: Hendon battle back to climb off the bottom

Hendon's John McCarthy passes to Jerry O'Donaghue

Hendon's John McCarthy passes to Jerry O'Donaghue - Credit: Archant

Herts/Middlesex 1: Hendon 32 Verulamians 29

Hendon moved off the bottom of the table after fighting back from 17-5 down to record their third league win of the season.

The victory meant Hendon leapfrogged West London, but they remain in the bottom two places with two fixtures remaining.

Verulamians started strongly and scored a fifth-minute try, but the hosts replied as Lee Linale took a tap penalty and Steve Brady completed the move.

Verulamians went over again and Hendon’s Michael Blake was sinbinned, giving the Vs the space to run in a third try and go 17-5 up.

Pat Quinn was also yellow carded, leaving Hendon with 13 men, but they got the next score as John McCarthy twisted over the line from a ruck.

Linale converted, and he then kicked a penalty to leave Hendon 17-15 down at the break, before Verulamians were reduced to 14 men – and Linale kicked the hosts 18-17 ahead.

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The yellow card was produced for Hendon’s Paul Geraghty and the visitors ran in their fourth try to go 22-18 ahead, but Gerry O’Donaghue touched down at the other end and man of the match Pat Quinn intercepted the ball and ran in from the halfway line to make it 32-22.

Brian O’Regan thought he had scored a fifth try for Hendon but it was disallowed, and Verulamians set up a nervy finish with a late converted try, but Hendon held on.

Meanwhile, Belsize Park triumphed 27-5 away at Hackney.

In London Division Two North-West, fourth-placed Hampstead thrashed Fullerians 97-7 at home while UCS Old Boys went down 25-20 away at HAC.

In London Division Three North-West, basement boys Haringey Rhinos went down 29-10 against Cheshunt, who sit immediately above them.

The Rhinos gifted their hosts an early 17-point lead and, although they hit back with two second-half mauls, their defensive deficiencies allowed Cheshunt to run in two more tries.