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Hendon are eliminated from Herts/Middlesex Junior Vase Cup by Cheshunt

PUBLISHED: 17:02 06 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:48 06 October 2014

Chris Towndrow scored a second-half try for Hendon. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Chris Towndrow scored a second-half try for Hendon. Pic: Paolo Minoli

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Hendon have won their opening two league games but a much-changed side was eliminated from the Herts/Middlesex Junior Vase Cup by Cheshunt, going down 33-14 at home at Barnet Copthall on Saturday.

Hendon's Jamie Connolly in action against Cheshunt in Saturday's cup tie. Pic: Paolo MinoliHendon's Jamie Connolly in action against Cheshunt in Saturday's cup tie. Pic: Paolo Minoli

The hosts were missing the majority of the players who had triumphed at Ickenham in Herts/Middlesex Division Two the previous weekend and they went 33-0 down before salvaging some pride as Chris Kumar and Chris Towndrow bundled their way over the line to narrow the losing margin.

Hendon started the game with a man short as traffic delayed the arrival of two players.

Despite their disadvantage, the home side’s smaller pack made a good start, winning a penalty as tight-head prop Terry Gilbride forced his opposite number to collapse the scrum.

However, the kick at the sticks failed and, although the hosts were restored to full strength after the arrival of Paul Geraghty, Cheshunt got on top, grew in confidence and ran training ground moves to take a 26-0 lead into the break.

Hendon had the benefit of the slope after the interval, while the sun was also now at their backs, and they started the second period brightly, with lock Geraghty and flanker Jamie Connolly carrying strongly.

Sustained possession and a better set piece helped Hendon to show glimpses of their recent league form, but a loose pass allowed Cheshunt to score again and go 33-0 ahead.

At this stage it would have been very easy for Hendon to throw in the towel but they refused to let this setback break their spirits and the back line started to threaten, with JP Cremin linking well with Tom Mathis.

Following several penalties in the opposition’s 22, Hendon refused to kick at goal and instead set up their forwards.

The pressure told as Kumar was driven over by the pack and, having got onto the scoreboard and gained some momentum, the home side continued with their policy of running everything rather than kicking.

That was rewarded by a carbon copy of their first try as Towndrow powered over three defenders to touch down, but this was all too little too late.

Hendon’s next game is a derby with neighbours Mill Hill, and the Dons will be expecting to welcome regular players back and aiming to get back to winning ways.

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