MATCH REPORT: 2XV Away at Hendon
The 2's finished second in a hard fought battle away from home. Match Report by William Monk.
Match week 2 rolled around with Finsbury Park’s second team looking to reproduce the scintillating form of the first 40 minutes against Letchworth. Just 8 members of the squad that tore it up at Hackney Marshes made it to this week’s guest Home pitch (provided curtesy of Saracens Amateurs).
The opposition arrived with just 14 men, so in the spirit of the game and Herts/Middlesex Merit table rule 6, jake painter was loaned to the visitors (more on him later). The first half started promisingly, following a similar pattern to the Letchworth game. Uncontested scrums meant that Hendon’s weight advantage was somewhat nullified and Finsbury Park put their competitive athleticism to good use. Superior in possession, Fins applied pressure to Hendon’s defence as time and again the green and gold swarmed forward only to be let down by a knock on or forward pass.
The only bright spot for Hendon appeared to be the aforementioned loanee Jake who made a seamless transition from the Finsbury Park wing to the Hendon 2nd Row, with an all action display of carrying and tackling that embarrassed the more established members of his temporary side.
As the half progressed, Finsbury Park looked to turn the screw. Tom Shirt made numerous strong drives forward, and the combined pace of Victor Sanchez Tarre and John Startin threatened to tear the opposition apart. In the end it was a combination of these three, along with the ever-dependable Liam Todd, that made the breakthrough. Quick movement along the back line found Startin who tormented the Hendon defence with his electric pace before providing the final pass to the eager hands of Victor who made no mistake, putting the ball down firmly between the posts. Viva España. The extra points were easily despatched by by Startin.
From then on, the floodgates threatened to open. Some scrappy play led to Startin chasing down a loose ball. As is customary he got to the ball before the opposition and managed to punt it a bit further towards the try line. Having taken this opportunity to steal a march on the defender he took control of the ball and set it down over the line. Alas the referee adjudged that there had been a knock on somewhere in the build-up, and the try was disallowed.
Some good work down the opposite wing also saw comeback kid Michael Godfrey racing towards the try line, only to be denied by a try saving intervention a couple of metres out.
Going into half time, the boys in yellow and green were dominant but somewhat disappointed to only be 7-0 up.
Surely the second half would prove to be just as one sided as the first?
Hendon came back into the game with a vengeance. While Fins continued to look the most dangerous when in possession, mistakes started creeping into the game. Handling errors and penalties meant that within 10 minutes of the restart, Hendon were camped on the try line. Despite some heroic individual efforts, the opposition found gaps in the defence too easily and their forwards powered over the line to register their first 5 points. This was well converted and suddenly despite the dominance of the home team, the scores were level.
The remainder of the match continued along similar lines, with good individual contributions from Alex Wood and James Pattinson amongst others, but nothing was clicking on that afternoon. Ultimately Hendon scored their second try down the right-hand side after some typically scrappy play, and the game ended 12-7.
MOTM was given to Tom Shirt for his rampaging display in the centres, and DOTD was awarded jointly to Victor for his remarkable knack of failing to finish off his exciting individual bursts through the opposition defence and Jake for his MOTM performance in the wrong shirt.
Photos available courtesy of Daniel Fear