A RUN of 16 straight wins came to an end for Coventry as they were held to a 28-28 draw away at Richmond in National League One.
Results between the two sides have historically between close and on Saturday that proved to be the case again with the result going right to the wire.
But a failed conversion attempt in added-on time by Matthew Chambers enured Scott Morgan’s side came away from the capital with a point.
It was Coventry who faced the windy elements at the Athletic Ground on Saturday in the opening period but an early 30-metre rolling maul had Richmond in trouble and after a succession of three penalties Matt Prices was driven over and Cliffie Hodgson converted to put the visitors 7-0 in front.
But within three minutes Coventry were caught napping and the dangerous Rory Damant was able to burst clean through before passing to winger Jack Rossiter who scored the hosts’ first try of the match but Kirby’s conversion drifted wide.
A period of intense home pressure followed and Kirby atoned his earlier miss by landing a penalty to put his side ahead.
And both Hodgson and Kirby exchanged penalty kicks to put the home side one point ahead at 11-10 at the break.
In the second half Coventry had the wind behind them but they made a poor start by conceding another try when Damant lead another raid and this time he fed Myles Scott who plunged over the line and Kirby added the extras.
To their credit the visitors responded immediately and the probing Dan Rundle was set free to score their second try but this time the angle and wind defeated Hodgson’s conversion attempt.
But joy soon turned to despair when a Richmond catch and drive allowed prop forward Ian Williams to score an unconverted try and push his side eight points clear.
The next scores however were to go Coventry’s way as they regained the lead.
First on 58 minutes Richmond lost possession near half-way and Will Hurrell was able to gather the loose ball and finish with great purpose after running from 40 metres and Hodgson landed a superb conversion.
More pressure came from Coventry and with Hodgson landing two more penalties to take his tally to 200 for the season the visitors held a narrow five-point advantage
But what followed was a nervous finale as home pressure built in added-on time, with Hurrell yellow-carded for an offside infringement and Chambers crashed over the line to the joy of the home support.
Kirby then had the simple task of converting from in front of the sticks to win it for his side but he somehow missed and Coventry were able to breath a huge sigh of relief as they extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches.
With Ealing’s game at Macclesfield postponed, the margin at the top has been cut to just two points ahead of this Saturday’s clash with Macclesfield at the Butts Park Arena.