Richmond 29, Blaydon 28

In the end they ran out of time but it was almost the perfect comeback for Blaydon after being 26-7 down going into the final quarter.

They struggled earlier and twice were the victim of interception tries but when they finally began to use the ball to good effect they ran in 3 late tries and had the consolation of securing 2 bonus points.

Richmond No8 Gordon George scored the opener from a short scrum after Blaydon had dropped the ball in the home 22 and it was quickly moved to the other end. Fly-half Tom Platt added the conversion and was on the mark again after James Kyle had capitalised on another Blaydon error to race clear from 60 metres.

The visitors had no shortage of possession but were undone again by George from close range and it was close to the interval when forward pressure resulted in a penalty try for Blaydon, converted by Andrew Baggett.

Leading 19-7 at the break Richmond increased their advantage when Platt ran in another breakaway effort and Blaydon were facing a mountain.

Flanker Harry Bate began the revival when he went over from a rolling maul,  to be quickly followed by No8 Gavin Jones after some smart handling had led to another line-out drive.

Two Baggett conversions reduced the Blaydon deficit to just 5 points but crucially for Richmond a penalty in front of the posts by Platt meant they still had to score twice.

With time running out Blaydon turned down a similar close range penalty in favour of a kick to the corner and from Andrew Archibald’s fine line-out take were heading for the line when the home side pulled down the maul.

A penalty try was awarded and Baggett added the extras but it all just a little too late.

John Brennan