Saturday 22nd October 2022
RFU Counties league 2 Herts/Middlesex
Hendon RFC 7-35 Ealing Trailfinders 1871 RFC
Depleted Hendon Could Not Restrain The Unbeaten League Leaders.
Phil Smith, Hendon’s Head Coach, was full of praise for the team commenting post-match “Every Hendon player, including five from our second team replacing injured others, put in a full shift against the promotion prospects Ealing who deserved their win. But we made them work hard for it . To date their average winning points score has been 59 so today's score was a reflection on just how hard we made them play, especially in defence.”
In fact the stats record that Hendon held the visitors in their own territory for over 60% of play with the Ealing defence excelling in their tackling against the continual attacking Hendon who found it difficult to break through.
In the match Hendon were up the slope in the 1st period with Chris Kyingi and team Captain Nick Andrews making repeated carries only to be stopped short before Andrews suffered a foot injury and was replaced by 2nd team captain Hadi Al-Bassam. Further problems for Hendon came when powerful full back Dragos Ciocan was injured and with a blood replacement suddenly Hendon had used all their replacements.
It took Ealing 20 minutes to score first with a back line move finished at speed to go ahead 0-7.
Hendon attempted immediately to respond with Rossa Dooley attacking through the middle inside the Ealing 22; however, from the ensuing maul Hendon’s wide pass to the wing was intercepted by the Ealing centre to run the length of field to score a gift try 0-14.
Then came perhaps the tackle of the match on 35 minutes as a long kick from defence by Cian Hynes was fielded by the Ealing fullback who was about to set up another attacking back line move but was felled by Robbie Burrell, having quickly followed up, with a flying tackle with the Hendon supporters applauding this “Wow” moment.
Into the 2nd half Hendon attempted to get on top with Dooley winning Ealing line-outs to maintain possession in Ealing territory but the visitors defence was excellent as Hendon’s scrum half Rich Roberts created play to both forwards and backs attempting to get over the line. But Ealing held firm.
Then after 20 minutes Ealing from a backline move set up a maul on the Hendon 22 and were able to score with a 10 man drive to the line. Minutes later as Hendon’s TJ O’Sullivan set up the next attack an error was seized upon by the Ealing winger to again run the length of the pitch to score an individual try with the visitors now up to 0-28.
Hendon then executed another attempt with Roberts moving the ball for a short pass to Kiyingi on the Ealing 10 who then broke 3 tackles to score a Hynes converted try and Hendon were on the scorecard at 7-28.
With 10 minutes to play another breakaway from Ealing on the halfway mark saw their backrow no7 gifted another pass as Hendon put all into attack, leaving the Ealing player to run in another easy try.
The match concluded with Hendon awarded three penalties in the Ealing 22, all easy goal kicks but the home outfit correctly ran but were unable once again to run through the strong Ealing defence.