8th January 2022
London North West 3 League
Harrow RFC 20-20 Hendon RFC
Hendon, with the last play of the match, score a try beneath the posts to secure a draw against local rivals Harrow.
This was a game shaped by the conditions and an extremely muddy and waterlogged pitch so that kick and chase was the tactic employed by both teams following up to profit from mistakes by the opposition. In the circumstances a large crowd, including Middlesex Rugby President Peter Baveystock and Middlesex Rugby Secretary Tim Miller were treated to an entertaining and hard fought match.
Harrow kicked off and the ball was immediately returned by Hendon fly half Jack Ryan with a superb 50-22 kick to within five metres of the Harrow line. Winning the line out ball cleanly Hendon then mauled their way to the try line with back row Chris Kyingi breaking off to touch down. Hendon's captain Cian Hynes converted and after three minutes Hendon were ahead by seven points.
However, Harrow kicked long into Hendon's half and hit back with a converted penalty and then another within the next fifteen minutes as the referee continually found fault with Hendon's back row work at the breakdown. Harrow then disrupted a scrum on Hendon's line and with the ball going loose touched down for an unconverted try to take the lead 11 points to 7.
As half time approached Hendon were continually pressing the Harrow line and were rewarded with a penalty which Hynes converted to make the half time score 11 points to 10.
Into the second half the game continued to be dominated by both teams kicking for territory and Hendon again found themselves on the wrong end of the referee's whistle at the breakdown resulting in three more converted penalties for Harrow taking them into the lead 20 points to 10 after 30 minutes.
As the game drew to a close Hendon continued to press towards the Harrow line and the pack earned a scrum penalty, which Hynes slotted over bringing them within losing bonus point range. However, they were not content with that and after Harrow were penalised at a five metre line out they continued to attack the Harrow line and after another penalty for offside against Harrow, second row Mick Culhane took a quick tap and crashed through tackles to score under the posts. Hynes converted, the final whistle went and the game was drawn.
Jim Dickin Hendon's forwards' coach said after the match "We had three props in the front row today because of illness and injury to our hookers and I was really pleased with the way the scrum went although our line out suffered. To score within the first minutes with a well constructed line out take and maul was great but perhaps after that we did not adapt to the conditions or the referee's interpretation of the breakdown until too late to take the match. But the spirit to press until the last minute and secure the draw was typical of our players' commitment this season."
Hendon 2nd XV
The 2nd team were at home to Harpenden 3rd team in their Merit Table match but a much changed side went down heavily nil points to 43.
Saturday 15th January 2022
Both Hendon teams are away on Saturday - the First XV at Cheshunt (Post Code EN7 6TB) and the 2nds at St Albans (Post Code AL4 0HR). Both game kick off at 1400