Blackheath 12 Richmond 45

It’s highly doubtful there are many occasions in its 159-year history that this fixture would have been scheduled to be contested in such searing heat – heat which ultimately prompted the game to be moved to Friday evening – but despite the unsympathetic weather it provided a useful exercise for both clubs, and a resounding win for the visitors.

Played over three, thirty-minute periods, between two squads of over 30-men apiece, the first ‘third’ was a tightly-fought encounter with Richmond’s Championship-strength pack holding an edge, and seeing the Surrey side scoring twice to a solitary Nick Foster try for Blackheath and a 14-7 lead.

Richmond have recruited strongly ahead of their second successive campaign at Level Two, notably in the front-row with Conor Maguire and George Cave joining and, in front of a good turnout at Well Hall, stretched their lead to 22-points in the second period.

Nevertheless, fortified by the addition of a handful of Colts, Blackheath, who will be looking to bounce straight back to National One after demotion in 2021/22, fought back strongly, scoring a consolation effort through Alex Witchell, despite Richmond taking the game far beyond reach.

Graham Cox