Hendon ended St Albans’ 100 per cent start to the season while maintaining their own with a 19-12 victory away from home.

The Herts/Middlesex 1 leaders have been free-scoring this season, racking up close to 400 points already, but were given a stern test against a side who had previously matched their record.

The visitors took a 5-0 lead early on when Billy Burrell went on the blind side to score out wide after four minutes, and they capitalised further on a nervy start from St Albans when Vytantas Pavilonis broke clear, brushed aside two challenges and scored a try that was converted by Dan Watterson.

This seemed to wake the home side up though and they pushed Hendon further and further back into their own 22, scoring in the corner midway through the first half to make it 12-5 and then levelling just before the break with a converted try.

It was unfamiliar territory for Hendon to be in such a close contest, but early in the second half they scored what proved to be the game-winning try when Will Theaker carried the ball forward for Burrell to score his second of the game. Watterson added the extras.

Success maintains Hendon’s place at the top of the table, with St Albans now trailing by three points and sharing a matching record with Barnet Elizabethans.

Next up for Hendon is another tough test as they host London Scottish Lions this weekend.