COVENTRY proved they are challenge for any side in National League One after holding leaders Richmond to a pulsating 21-21 draw in front of a bumper crowd at the Butts Park Arena on Saturday.
With Coventry sitting ninth and Richmond top ahead of kick-off, it looked as though it was going to be a tough afternoon for Scott Morgan’s side.
But the hosts delighted their followers with a passionate display and although there was a hint of disappointment that they let slip a 21-7 lead, Coventry became only the third team to beat Richmond this season.
Team selection had again been limited by injury with Tom Poole, young scrum half George Tresidder and Jacques Le Roux all departing through injury during the match.
A strong crowd of 1,229 saw evidence of Richmond’s power early on when after seven minutes flanker Jack Allcock powered over the line and Rob Kirby landed the extras to put the visitors 7-0 in front.
Coventry eventually began to find their feet and they were dealt a helping hand following a yellow card to Richmond’s Mitchell and they were level thanks to an impressive try by Matt Price.
Tresidder and the impressive Gaston Mieres were both involved in the build up before top try scorer Price showed an impressive turn of pace to crash over and Cliffie Hodgson converted well to pull Coventry level.
The hosts continued to give as good as they got and shortly before the break another excellent move allowed Gaston Mieres to steam through for the third try of the match which was converted again by Hodgson to give Coventry a seven point lead at the break.
After the break early home pressure saw Coventry repelled but only at the expense of another Richmond yellow card this time handed to hooker Grimstone.
The assault continued and with the visiting scrum in trouble, the referee awarded Coventry a fourth penalty try of the season which Hodgson converted for 21-7 and in doing so came to within 16 points of 1,000 for the club.
It could have been a bigger lead for Coventry had Dom Lespierre not been held up down the left and instead they went on to shoot themselves in the foot by allowing their opponents back into the match.
On 56 minutes Richmond’s top try scorer Chris Davies powered through from a catch and drive and then with seven minutes remaining scrum half Jamie Gibbs skipped through and Kirby converted both tries to make it 21-21.
Coventry could have nicked the win in the final minute of the match after Hodgson entrusted young centre George Worth with a long range penalty but his kick fell well short of the target.