Richmond have made it six wins from six to start the 2019/20 season with a gritty 18-17 win over Bishop’s Stortford.

In wet and slippery conditions, Richmond held a 15-7 lead at half-time, thanks to tries to Toby Dabell and skipper Cam Mitchell.

But the home side hit back strongly after the break, lifting their intensity and attacking spirit. They notched a penalty in the 55th minute to reduce the score to 15-10, and then three minutes later took the lead through a breakaway try.

Richmond, with their backs against the wall and with the home crowd making their voices heard, defended magnificently for a prolonged period, eventually forcing the penalty in the 68th minute. Kirby kicked truly and Richmond took a one point lead.

Bishop’s Stortford tried desperately to hit back in the last 10 minutes and clinch the win, but Richmond again withstood the barrage of attack to cement their sixth victory of the National League 1 season.

Second-row Byron Hodge was named the Richmond Player of the Match following an outstanding 80 minute performance.

Richmond captain Cam Mitchell said: “It was a gritty day. The conditions were really tough and we have a lot of areas of our game to improve. We still haven’t delivered a full 80 minute performance and will feel a lot more comfortable when we do. We look forward to another opportunity against Cinderford at home next week.”

Director of Rugby Steve Hill said: “I am really pleased with this result. We had to show a lot of patience and discipline, especially in the last 20 minutes, against a spirited home team. The conditions made life tough for both teams, so to return with an away victory sets us up well for a challenging home match against Cinderford.”

Meanwhile, the Richmond Vikings continued their unbeaten start to the season beating the Bishop’s Stortford 2nd XV 42-12.

Tickets are now on sale for Richmond’s Double Header next Saturday 19th October at the Athletic Ground (Richmond vs Cinderford 3pm, Richmond Women vs Darlington MP Sharks 5pm).