Hendon end 2019 top of the league after beating Saracens Amateurs
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 December 2019
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Hendon ended 2019 top of the Herts Middlesex League One and still unbeaten this season after a 45-20 win over Saracens Amateurs.
The game started with Hendon getting into their stride in the first two minutes as Rob Casey sliced through the opposition defence to score under the posts, leaving captain Cian Hynes with an easy conversion.
However, soon after Hendon were forced into changes as back row Ronan Jones went off for ten minutes for a blood replacement injury and then centre Nigel Toafa had to leave the field with concussion.
Saracens took the opportunity to strike back with a penalty try after a high tackle was adjudged to have prevented a score.
Hendon then knew that they were in for a real contest, with Saracens defending well and Hendon making some uncharacteristic handling errors.
Saracens profited with a converted penalty to take the lead but from the kick-off, Junior Afroa collected a Saracens knock-on, made ground and passed to Will Theaker to power down the line to score, with Hynes again converting.
But the Saracens defensive pressure was constant and an intercepted pass allowed them to score another converted try and to take the lead again.
Hendon responded with a line-out drive, releasing to the backs with winger Dan Watterson shrugging off tackles to give Hendon the lead again.
With Hynes in fine kicking form, Hendon took back the lead but were under pressure again as Watterson went to the sin bin for an illegal tackle. Saracens took their opportunity and the half ended at 21-20.
Soon after the restart, T J O'Sullivan scored before Chris Kyingi found time and space to beat defenders with a powerful run to score another.
With minutes left to go in the game, Kyingi broke through again, brushing off tired tacklers to give Hendon their sixth converted try.
The final act of the game allowed Hynes to add to his total points with a penalty under the posts to give Hendon a final winning score of 45-20.
Coach Phil Smith said: "I was really pleased with the way the players, at half-time, identified the problems and changed their tactics to beat the Saracens defensive approach."