Richmond hockey club captain Charlie Duffell says it is important to take the positives from the narrow 4-3 defeat to Canterbury in the Men’s Hockey League Promotion Tournament.

Richmond’s play-off campaign got off to a losing start at the weekend with the experienced Canterbury side gaining a foothold in the round-robin competition.

Duffell was aware the clash would always prove a challenge, but believes his side can take heart from their battling performance.

He said: “It was a tight game, as the scoreline suggests. Ultimately they were just a bit more clinical than us and that’s what got them over the line.

“They have some world class players in the team so it was always going to be tough and a challenge.

“But we felt we could get a result. We didn’t but in patches we played really well and we can take plenty of positives into our next games.”

After a fine run in the Conference East division, Richmond went into the contest at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre full of confidence.

After Canterbury opened up a 3-1 lead, Richmond battled back to 3-3 only to concede a late goal.

Despite goals from Charlie Ellison, Rhys Linnell and Josh Smith, Duffell admitted it was a tough result to take.

“We believed we could win. We were in good form, winning five straight games in the league going into the play-offs,” the skipper added.

“Even at 3-1 down no-one felt we were out of the game. You can score so quickly in hockey and the whole team felt a comeback was possible.

“We did that but the late goal was tough to take – it gives you no time to get back in the game. It was a real blow.

“But there’s no point dwelling on it. We need to focus on the next game now.”