Match Report: Blackheath vs Richmond
Final Score: Blackheath 25 defeated Richmond 15
Richmond opened their 2019/20 season with a friendly fixture against old rivals Blackheath.
It was not an evening to remember fondly at Well Hall with rain and wind lashing down for most of the game. However, both teams will take plenty positives from the outing with Richmond dominating the first half and Blackheath responding with a strong performance to claim the win.
Richmond started with confidence, dominating set possession. Timmy Walford, Ross Grimstone and Jimmy Lichfield (former London Scottish) rapidly established control of the scrums whilst Byron Hodge (former London Scottish) combined well with Myles Scott in the second-row. In the backs Jamie Gibbs was his usual busy self at scrum-half and skipper Cam Mitchell was prominent in the centre, organising those around him.
The first try followed a penalty, Rob Kirby setting his team up fifteen metres out. Possession was efficiently secured and the pressure built steadily until an overlap was worked on the wide right and Toby Eaton (former Hartpury) had a 15 metre run to the corner. Kirby’s attempted conversion into the strong wind was just wide.
The second try followed shortly and was the best of the match. Once again a penalty allowed Richmond to set up around the 22. This time the backs took over, a deft chip by Lewis Dennett perfectly judged to put Ward clear down the touchline. The centre timed his inside pass to perfection and Myles Scott was in support to claim the try.
With the Blackheath scrum being marched backwards at will, Richmond looked in control.
However, as Richmond started to rotate through the 31-man squad, so too came the teething errors. A sequence of penalties conceded allowed Blackheath to build impetus. Ken Dowding was yellow carded and Blackheath got their opening score in the corner.
Playing the second half into a strong wind, a much changed Richmond side gave themselves little chance with a continuing stream of penalties conceded. The next two Blackheath tries were scored as a result of kicks, setting Blackheath up five metres out. The first try saw the Blackheath scrum drive over, whilst the second followed a charge down as Richmond attempted to escape their lines.
Blackheath dominated possession and leading 17-10 showed their desire to secure victory by opting to kick the penalty.
Richmond's Ben Cook made an unfortunate departure with an arm injury and was replaced by the returning Lewis Dennett. An excellent line kick found touch five metres out and Richmond scored their third try with seven minutes to go through forward Sam Theron (former Leeds Beckett Uni).
Richmond tried to chase another score but momentum was lost and Blackheath finished strongly with a try out wide.
Final score: Blackheath 25 defeated Richmond 15 (Tries: Toby Eaton, Myles Scott, Sam Theron)
Meanwhile at the Richmond Athletic Ground, the Vikings were big winners in their first preseason fixture of the season, completing an emphatic 52-12 victory over Sidcup.
Upcoming Preseason Fixture:
Saturday 31st August: Esher vs Richmond Rugby Away, KO 15:00
To view the full fixture list for season 2019/20 click here.
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