Hendon’s fightback is in vain as they suffer first defeat in new division
PUBLISHED: 18:32 03 October 2016 | UPDATED: 19:19 03 October 2016
Hendon suffered their first defeat in Herts/Middlesex Division One despite a sterling fightback as captain Cian Hynes’ decisive last-minute penalty slipped just past the posts.
The newly-promoted hosts, who had won their opening fixture and been given a walkover in their second game, endured a difficult first half against Saracens Amateurs on Saturday.
Offside infringements were penalised and clinically converted – and although Hynes got his side on the board with a successful penalty of his own, Hendon trailed 12-3 at the interval.
Matters quickly worsened within a minute of the restart as the visitors pounced on a loose ball to score the first try and went 19-3 up – but the Dons battled back.
Strong work from the forwards, particularly Harry Charles and Tommy Middleton, gave Hynes the chance to set up Chris Kiyingy, who went over the whitewash – and the winger then scored again, followed by Middleton, while Hynes’ conversion from close to the touchline put Hendon 20-19 ahead.
The lead changed hands again after a Saracens drop goal but Hendon were given a final chance to come from behind again and grab victory at the death.
In the last play, the referee awarded a penalty 35 metres out – but it proved to be just too far away for Hynes, whose effort crept just wide, leaving his side with just a losing bonus point for their efforts.
Meanwhile, UCS Old Boys were also defeated in the same division, going down 50-7 at home against league leaders Verulamians.
Elsewhere, it was a similar tale for Haringey Rhinos, who were thrashed 66-0 away against Thamesians, who sit top of the Herts/Middlesex Division Two table on points difference.