Match Report: Hendon 2nds 24 - 28 Hertford Termites
By Liam Murphy
Hendon’s 1st XV had the Saturday off from league duty with many watching their 2nd team club mates take on an undefeated Hertford XV in the 1st round of the Merit Cup Competition.
Hendon prepared well for this cup match by training on Wednesday with 34 1st and 2nd team players working hard at Allianz Stadium under Club Coach Phil Smith who was on the touchline to support and guide their play.
The hard work showed as the game started well for Hendon who matched their opponents in all quarters with a well worked try by Richard Sharples under the post and converted by Ryan Murtagh.
However Hertford with the slope advantage took the game back to the Hendon five metre line with an eventual pushover try to level at 7-7.
From the restart Hendon were on the backfoot defending with Kestutis Manionis putting in some great tackles allowing Hendon to kick up field with Miles McCarthy collecting to race over in the left corner converted by Murtagh from the touchline as Hendon took the lead 14-7. Hertford carries then got the better of Hendon and on the stroke of half time they were over to level at 14-14.
Into the second period and it was captain Aiden Brennan-Power leading by example with some charging carries through the Hertford defence and as Hertford were caught offside, Murtagh slotted over to go 17-14 ahead.
Hertford’s came back after 10 minutes with another forward dominated move to score and retake the lead at 17-21. Power saw the opportunity from the next Hertford line out on their 22 as he took possession to the Hertford whitewash, setting up a maul to push over and score a Murtagh converted try and Hendon were back in the lead at 24-21.
But Hertford could see the way through was with their forwards and cracked the Hendon defence once more to score under the posts with 10 minutes to go. 24-28.
The play was once again in the Hertford 22 with Hendon needing only a try to win but trying to run at the Hertford defence the home outfit were stopped several times with players laying deep waiting for the pass and score that never came.
Eventually the ball was kicked downfield and Hendon were left with no time to make another attempt at Hertford.
Although out of the main cup they go into the next round for First Round losers.
This Saturday Hendon 1st resume their League programme at Copthall against Wasps FC a match generously co-sponsored by Keith Gent and John Casalaspro both former 1st XV Captains of the Club. Hendon 2nds are also at home in a Merit League match against Cuffley. There is a VPs and supporters lunch beforehand and if you have not already booked your place you have until tomorrow Wednesday 23rd to contact Tom Brownsell or David Gershlick.