Saturday 21st January 2023


RFU Counties League 2 Herts/Middlesex


Ealing Trailfinders RFC 31 - 17 Hendon RFC 


Crucial decisions that could have resulted in a closer result in this balanced match against the League leaders.


Hendon took an early lead after Hendon’s forwards had exploited space around the ruck in attack with scrum half Rich Roberts feeding centre Dragos Ciocan to make a powerful break with Ealing conceding a penalty, converted by Cian Hynes. 

After mid field play a long kick from defence by the home outfit bounced on the artificial pitch in favour of the Ealing winger to collect and score an easy converted try to take the score to 7-3 on 20 minutes. 

However, Hendon continued to push  Ealing into defence with Rob Casey at centre in the driving seat but their defence held strong. Scrums were dominated by Ealing as Hendon struggled with front row tactics that prevented the visitors gaining clean ball. Hendon conceded a scrum penalty on the half hour with Ealing kicking a long penalty into the Hendon 22; from the lineout Ealing set up a rolling maul to the Hendon try line with their No8 attempting to score but dropping short of the line. However, the try was awarded to take the lead out to 14-3 despite an appeal by Hendon captain Nick Andrews. In the closing minutes of the first period Ealing extended their lead with a penalty out to 17-3 and then a further backline move to make the score at half time 24-3.

A team talk during the break galvanised Hendon to up their game in the second half with Roberts and Jack Ryan at 10 marshalling the team and Hendon’s forwards making inroads into the Ealing defence commencing with carries from Nick Pope and Andrews with Harry Charles and Conor Bowler winning the breakdowns after midfield tackling to halt the home side momentum. 

As Hendon took control, Charles found space to make a break but having been stopped short, Man of the Match Chris Kiyingi won the ruck and crossed the line for a Hynes converted try and a deserved score at 24-10. 

Then against the run in play Ealing set up a well worked backline move to further extend their lead to 31-10 on 15 minutes. 

From the restart Hendon put the home defence back under pressure resulting in a penalty to Hendon in the Ealing 22 with a well-rehearsed penalty move paying dividends as Kiyingi went over for his 2nd try converted by Hynes 31-17 on the half hour and Hendon were in control. 

Once again from the restart Hendon attacked into Ealing territory with Kiyingi collecting from a 22 line out and carry to crash through the Ealing defence and touch down with defenders on top but the referee was unsighted and gave a drop out to Ealing for a “held up ball”. The match finished with Hendon attacking but coming away without League points to show in this hard fought encounter. They remain fifth in the table.

news articles