Richmond kicked off their 150th anniversary year celebrations with a 12th straight win, but were made to fight all the way for the points by hosts Taunton.
Forced to play the final quarter with only 14 men due to two yellow cards, the Londoners dug in deep to successfully defend a 20-16 lead.
Unfortunately for Richmond the sides above them in the table both managed to take maximum points from their respective games. Jersey’s dominant pack
laid the foundations for a 31-15 home win over Canterbury, while leaders Ealing left it late to grab four tries against Southend, Ronnie McLean and Neil
Hallett going over in the final five minutes.
Hinckley were the only winners in the bottom five, but they still have plenty of ground to make up. The Leicestershire side managed only their second win of
the season with a 25-19 success over Shelford with Benjamin Avent getting a brace of tries. No such luck, though, for cellar dwellers Newbury, who went
behind to a Matt Taylor try after just 60 seconds on their way to a 49-25 home defeat to Lydney. Westcombe Park, who occupy the third relegation place,
slipped to a 25-18 loss at home to Dings Crusaders, but they have a game in hand on their rivals.
Former Bristol skipper Matt Salter starred for Clifton as Henley Hawks had their wings clipped at Cribbs Causeway, and wing Chris May got two of Old
Albanians’ five tries in a 36-27 win over Worthing.