A full five league points were gained by Hendon as they completely overran a youthful and improving Barnet XV to conclude Hendon's League season by climbing a further position and finish a worthy third as runners up to promoted Finsbury Park and Hitchin ( the league winners that Hendon beat at their home in January).
Scoring commenced for Hendon after two minutes when winger Will Theaker ran in the first of his hat-trick of tries to claim the Club award of the season’s highest try scorer;
Club Captain Cian Hynes scored twice and converted all but one of the nine tries by Hendon with three conversions coming from out-wide on the touchline.
Man of the Match was Chris Kiyingi with his all round retention of ball under attack, individual drives through the Barnet defence and a try scored from his own territory; Kiyingi furthermore was awarded the Club trophy for the player having played the most First XV games in the Season. TJ O’Sullivan made an impact after several months out of rugby due to training for a new job with a well worked try and fellow forward Donal O’Sullivan scored from a five metre scrum.
The last try for Hendon came from Tom Mathias in a text book move from the Allianz Park training ground (home to Saracens where Hendon have the privilege of training every week) as scrum half Billy Burrell sent the ball to stand off Rob Casey looped round to recollect and set up Mathias for a winger's try; said Mathias “this try is worth every second of attending the Club training night at Saracens even though I have to make a return journey from Cambridge every Wednesday I have only missed one session all season”
This comment underlines the spirit in the Club and the enjoyment the 25 or so players from both 1st and 2nd teams get every week from attending Phil Smith’s coaching sessions.
Commented Smith, Hendon’s Head Coach “I am delighted in my first season with Hendon to have had the benefit of Allianz for training and to have received the positive response from the players to embrace attacking rugby that has resulted since Christmas with 8 wins and one narrow loss away to Finsbury Park with an average score-line of 50 + points per match. We have finished with the second highest overall points for (744) in the League and the third lowest points against with both factors to be worked on for next season to push for promotion”.
Next Saturday the Second XV, who also finished third in their Merit Table League have a Cup semi final to play whilst Hendon First XV will regroup after the Easter break for the Middlesex Federation Vase Cup Final against London Scottish to be played at Hendon on Saturday April 27th.
The official season will conclude at Copthall a day later with the 65th annual Hendon 7s on Sunday 28th April.
On May 4th at the Richmond Athletic Ground we will participate in the Middlesex Sevens Festival and the rugby will finish for the Summer with our annual John Ryan Charity match between Hendon Legends and current players on 11th May to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.