Match Report: Finsbury Park 24 - 15 Hendon RFC
By Liam Murphy
Questionable decisions that cost Hendon this hard fought encounter.
Hendon defended their own line from the F Park Kick Off with 3 turnovers by the Hendon forwards for Hynes to kick clear. 15 mins of continual pressure resulted in a FP try to give the home outfit a 7-0 lead. From the restart FP played the ball back to Hendon with winger Will Theaker taking the ball to the FP 22; Billy Burrell span it wide for opposite winger Chris Kiyingi to carry to the FP 5 mtre line. From the line-out a 10 man drive to the line with Donal O’Sullivan touching down a Cian Hynes converted try to draw level at 7-7. Hendon regained possession from the restart and Hendon 10 Rob Casey broke the FP defence setting up a platform for the Hendon forwards to set up an attacking move with FP caught offside giving Hynes a long penalty attempt to slot over and the visitors were ahead 7-10. With almost the last play of the period FP made the break to get through the Hendon defence and score from a well worked backline move to retake the lead 12-10.
Into the 2nd ½ Hynes caught a long FP kick on the Hendon 22 and ran through to the FP 22 to set up the next Hendon maul to the FP line taken over twice with the referee undecided as Rossa Dooley and Mike Culhane both touched down but judged to have been held up and resulted in a controversial penalty for FP to kick for touch. Midway through FP were back in possession with their strong Kiwi backline getting through the Hendon defence to set up a try out wide to go 17-10 ahead. Shortly after Hendon from a defensive kick were back into FP territory for Paul Julian to carry to the FP line but a high tackle around the neck but surprisingly not seen by the referee stopped the move for a probable Hendon score; again FP were let off to set up another backline move to score with 10 mins to play 24-10.
The last mins were with Hendon. A long penalty kick from Hynes to the FP 22 gave the platform for Culhane to set up a driving maul to the FP line with Dooley this time being allowed the try but disappointment as the conversion from out wide narrowly missed 24-15 and Hendon were denied a well deserved losing bonus point against promotion prospects Finsbury Park.
This Saturday Hendon entertain Staines at Copthall 2.30 pm Kick Off.