Richmond edge nine-try thriller against Fylde in National League One
Updated 11:57am Monday 8th April 2013 in Richmond
In front of a crowd which included celebrated old boys Craig Quinnell and Malcolm Phillips, old friends Richmond and Fylde fought out a nine-try thriller, deservedly edged by the home side to earn five precious points.
Fylde’s final try in injury time earned them a 36-29 win and a worthy two points, leaving them in sixth place in National League One.
Richmond made just two changes from the previous week, Timmy Walford and Chris Davies reclaiming starting positions.
Lancashire side Fylde had given Richmond a lesson in running rugby in the away fixture, running up 50 points and were in a rich vein of form, having won their last five games.
If Richmond needed to get off to a good start, they did so in spectacular fashion, running up 21 points without reply in the first 17 minutes.
The first try was scored in the opening minute from a well-weighted kick off, claimed by the Richmond forwards.
Will Warden, man of the match Karl Outen, and Jason Phipps were prominent as the pack drove holes in the Fylde defence, before the ball was passed out to the backs with a likely looking overlap.
The grubber from Louis Grimoldby did not at first appear the best option but the kick was well delivered and sat up obligingly for James Greenwood to claim and touch down.
Tom Platt, in top kicking form again, added an excellent conversion.
The home side were full of running and clearly enjoying the first glimpse of a dry pitch and some spring sunshine.
James Greenwood bagged a try in the win over Fylde
After some lovely handling by the backs, skipper Warden was just held up on the line to earn a five metre scrum.
When referee Thomas Davis then gave Richmond a free kick, JP Attlee was alert and Fylde were caught napping as he tapped and drove over, Platt again adding the conversion.
The visitors finally started to get into the game in the following action but their line out drive was comfortably held and their day was not improved when fly half Chris Johnson was yellow carded for back chat.
With the Richmond pack next showcasing a model rolling maul, Fylde were forced to retreat 25 metres before conceding a penalty.
Grimoldby’s line kick set up position deep in the 22 and when another rolling maul was illegally pulled down one metre short, Mr Davis immediately pointed to the posts and awarded a straightforward penalty try, converted to give Richmond a commanding 21-0 lead.
Double whammy: JP Atlee scored 10 points in the National League One win
However, any notion that this was going to be a straightforward win was soon quashed as fly half Johnson kicked a simple penalty and then centre Steve Briers completed a neat Fylde backs move, running a reverse angle to score under the posts to take the score to 21-10.
The game was now much more end to end and was played at a furious pace as both sides ran the ball at every opportunity. Just after the half hour, Richmond scored their fourth try to earn an early bonus point.
A long pass by Grimoldy found Davies roaming on the left wing and the tall blindside flanker outflanked the defence before cutting in and progressing deep into the opposing defence.
When he was finally held, the ball was quickly recycled and the ever present Warden slipped a pass to Attlee, who did well to take the pass before ignoring the man outside him to spin inside and touch down for an exhilarating try.
However, Fylde have a deserved reputation for running the ball from every position and the next passage of play started when the elusive Oli Brennand took a quick throw in.
Action continued as Richmond contained the attack and countered, and then climaxed when Brennand re-gathered possession to hurtle back into the home 22.
Arnold finally added a more direct approach, sending prop Dan Birchall in for his side’s second try, converted by Johnson for a 26-17 half time score.
The second half started at the same furious pace with Fylde now first off their blocks.
An injury to Matt Keville distracted Richmond and Brennand extracted full toll, picking the ball up to race in unstoppably from 35 metres.
With their lead now reduced to two points, Richmond needed the next score and they got it in the 51st minute.
A quick throw in by Platt provided momentum to Greenwood and then his forwards supported well, Warden and Attlee inevitably at the heart of things, before Steve Wood was in good position to squeeze in at the corner, Platt adding a superb touchline conversion.
Richmond's director of rugby Steve Hill after the win over Fylde
Two minutes later, Platt added an invaluable penalty from 40 metres to extend the lead to 36-24.
Plenty of chances followed for both sides, Richmond being indebted to Attlee and James Falconer for a brave corner flag tackle to save a try.
Both sides brought on fresh legs as cramp inevitably took its toll and Richmond’s prospects were not helped when they lost their second centre Falconer to injury.
But substitutes Nick Moore and Juliano Fiori provided some welcome new energy and Henry Taylor, pressed into duty at full back, was unlucky when a fine tackle was considered just too late to prevent another try by the elusive Brennand.
But by now it was well into injury time and the final whistle soon followed after a splendid game, well refereed by Mr Davis and enjoyed by a crowd of nearly 600.
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