HERTS/MIDDLESEX TWO: Hendon 50 Uxbridge 8
Uxbridge could hardly have made a worse start to the season after they conceded 17 points in the opening 20 minutes on the way to a painful 50-8 defeat away to Hendon.
A succession of missed tackles and poor tactical kicking, coupled with giving away kickable penalties, meant the game was all but over inside the first quarter and a 26th minute penalty from Michael Wey-mouth, conceded by an over-eager Hendon side, was all the visitors had to show for the opening period.
Hendon used the slope to good effect, especially since Uxbridge were unable to gain a foothold in attack because the ball rarely came back from the contact area, with the hosts stealing almost 50 per cent of Uxbridge ball at rucks and mauls.
Uxbridge conceded a pushover try followed by another messy score as aresult of a missed tackle to reach half-time 29-3 down and the last thing they needed was to concede the first score after the restart, which sadly they did when a Hendon winger danced through four tackles to score under the posts.
Uxbridge finally began to assert themselves and Hendon resorted to foul play to prevent a fightback, losing a prop to the sin bin for his actions, and while they had their numerical advantage Uxbridge managed their only try of the game through birthday boy Lewis Edwards, in the 48th minute. However, once Hendon were back to full strength normal service resumed and three tries later they were out of sight before reaching their half-century with a score that summed up the day.
Uxbridge made an excellent break but no one supported an exhausted Ian Hambley and when he was caught on his way to the try line, possession was turned over and Hendon showed the necessary teamwork to score at the other end of the pitch.
Uxbridge try to get their season going at home to the Honourable Artillery Corps on Saturday, in what is likely to be an even tougher fixture.
Meanwhile, they have been drawn away to Surrey Division Four side Economicals in the second round of the EDF Energy Junior Vase, which takes place on September 27. [25a0] The second team fared little better away to Stevenage III, and after one or two injuries even had to rely on substitutes graciously offered by their hosts.
Uxbridge struggled to get a foothold in the match and with several men playing out of position it was always going to be a tough encounter which ultimately they lost 48-10. They travel to Old Actonians on Saturday.