Match Report: Hendon RFC 29 - 35 UCS Old Boys
By Liam Murphy
Hendon RFC 29 - 35 UCS Old Boys
First half defensive errors and conceded penalties cost Hendon in a match that gave the Home outfit 5 tries to the winners 4.
Hendon were up the Hendon slope in the first period and were put under immediate pressure when a backline defensive error allowed UCS an easy try out wide 0-5 after only 3 mins on the clock. From the restart Hendon were sluggish in getting into the game and UCS were back into Hendon territory, conceded an offside penalty inside the 22 for an easy conversion 0-8 on 10 mins. Hendon forwards then gradually got the home outfit back into the match from the set scrums pushing UCS off their own ball and creating problems with for their scrum half. In the tight prop Paul Julian excelled supported by Donal O’Sullivan in securing early ball giving the backline the width to push upfield. After 25 mins it was Hendon fullback Dan Watterson running from defence to set up a maul on the UCS 22 metre line to push to the line for Mike Culhane to score Hendon’s opening try converted by Watterson, 7-8. From the restart UCS worked again into the Hendon ½ and their forwards mauled over after several attempts to score again a converted try to extend their lead to 7-15 with minutes left of play. Hendon knew they could absorb this score into the 2nd period and looked to be in control as they pushed into the UCS ½ but again lost possession with their full back kicking a long kick downfield chased by several Players to score another easy try as Hendon had only 1 player in defence 7-22 to end the first ½.
Hendon now used the slope to full advantage going straight into attack with a driving maul to the UCS line with O’Sullivan scoring out wide 12-22. The game was now all about possession as UCS gathered from the restart but Hendon stopped the attack but again conceded a penalty in their 22 for UCS to slot over 12-25. Again from the restart it was Hendon’s Donal O’Sullivan winning a UCS 22 line out for scrum ½ Billy Burrell to set up the maul with winger Will Theaker joining in to break away to score out wide 17-25. UCS then attacked and again the home team conceded another penalty slotted over for UCS to extend their lead 17-28. Hendon midway through the period pushed a set scrum back with late ball to their backline allowing O’Sullivan to intercept and score a Watterson converted try 24-28. But it was UCS turn to score and a rolling maul upfield could not be stopped as UCS went over for what looked like an impossible position for Hendon to reclaim at 24-35.
However with a bonus point score from 4 tries Hendon could still get a losing bonus point which was achieved with the last play with a 5 metre line out won by Culhane setting up a maul and again Theaker crashed over the UCS line to score out wide to finish 29-35.
Next Saturday Hendon are away to Saracens Amateurs for their next league encounter.