A sluggish first-half performance proved costly for Hendon as they suffered a 38-22 defeat at home to Hackney.

The visitors were on the front foot from the kick off and they went ahead in the fifth minute from a pushover maul in the corner.

The pressure on the Hendon defence continued but they managed to hold out and the home side pulled level.

A long kick upfield caused a mishap in defence and a series of passes allowed Michael Blake space to touch down.

However, the final ten minutes before the interval proved costly for Hendon as their opponents crossed the line on three occasions to take a commanding 24-5 lead into the interval.

Hendon were much improved in the second period and reduced the deficit when Lee Linale took the ball from a loose maul and crossed the line.

But shortly after the interval Cosy Mutuma was sin-binned and Hendon were down to 14 men.

The visitors took advantage and pushed the home outfit back over their line to score under the posts.

Hendon battled back though and a move set up by Paul Julian and Brian O’Regan allowed Mutuma, back in play, to score.

Mutuma then went over for the second time soon after to close the gap between the two sides to seven points.

Hackney decided to defend against Hendon’s continued pressure and the home side were unable to find a way through to draw level.

In the closing minutes, the visitors managed to score a breakaway try and Hendon were beaten.

Hendon are away to the Bank of England on Saturday as they look to get back to winning ways.