Resilience is a word that is invariably associated with Enfield Ignatians, and that quality was once again on show in spades as the blue and golds left it late to rescue a potential lost cause against a very spirited Hendon side, writes Jonathan Landi.

Playing up the pronounced slope in the first two quarters, Ignatians had the kitchen sink thrown at them, and the Hendon blitz duly yielded a healthy 26-14 lead for the hosts, despite them being from the division below, followed by a morale sapping third quarter, in which neither side got over the line.

It was this point that Jake Bates used his captaincy skills to lay it on the line to his troops. His dead-eye message was: “We need to play our own game and concentrate on controlling what we can. We need to reflect on what we did against Finchley and have faith in our structures.”

The ultimatum certainly gave the visitors a lift as battered bodies and tired limbs were re-energised in the tough environment that is the Greenlands Lane arena, and the result in the final portion of the game was a very appreciable three try salvo without reply.

Ignatians moved to five within points after Lewis White forced his way over from close range, and sterling approach play set the seal on victory following scores from Johnny Dixon and Lucas Yoxall, both of which were converted by Jake Bates, which turned the game on its head.

Ignatians’ predominantly youthful side certainly had a tough afternoon and especially so in the opening two quarters of the game, when they were playing up the pronounced slope, and a combination of some weak tackling and poor ball retention, saw Hendon cash-in.

The visitors leaked four tries in this period but, crucially, their sporadic response bought about a brace of tries with Ignatians deftly exploiting the blindside before Tom Huckle’s neat dummy and off-load released Ben Mills on his solo 30 metre-gallop.

Jake Bates added the extras and the fly-half also converted his own handiwork following a splendid solo effort, pre-faced by a neat backhand show of the ball, which fooled the defence, as the captain danced his way through heavy traffic.

Captain Jake Bates said: “To a man, the squad delivered. Despite a number of dropped passes and missed tackles, we had to dig very deep, but we came through in the end and never lost our self-belief.”