Ionians take a bonus as rally from Greens proves in vain

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Hull Ionians had to settle for a losing bonus point as they lost 
23-16 at Richmond in London.

The Yorkshire side were on top in the pack, but a lack of ball meant they struggled to score points and were left frustrated.

The home side took an early lead with centre Ronnie McLean-Dents touching down and full-back Rob Kirby adding the extras after 10 minutes, but it was not long before Ionians got off the mark with scrum-half Isaac Green kicking penalties on 14 and 19 minutes to bring the Yorkshire side to within one point.

Richmond battled on and winger Charles Broughton chipped over the full-back to score two minutes later, Kirby kicking the conversion to make it 14-6.

Green’s third penalty brought the scores to 14-9 at the break but shortly after play resumed Kirby added a penalty and followed it up with another on 56 minutes as Ionians’ indiscipline cost them dear as the home side gradually pulled away.

A penalty try brought Ionians back into it as Richmond felt the pressure of their drive and were forced into committing penalties in a bid to stop them.

Green added the conversion to bring Ionians to within four points of their rivals, but again they dropped the ball from the kick-off and handed their hosts the advantage.

Hopes of grabbing a win were dashed when, after an unfortunate offside decision, Kirby slotted a simple penalty.

Wharfedale rallied from 26-5 down at the break but still lost 46-26 at home to Esher.

Esher were let off early on when the Greens were camped on the line.

Penalties and a yellow card were awarded but Esher held out and settled.

Paul Roberts started the scoring with a penalty after 19 minutes.

This was soon followed by tries from Alistair Chisholm and Spencer Sutherland, both converted by Roberts.

Adam Howard crossed for Dale but Esher finished the first-half scoring with a long-range penalty from Roberts and another converted try from Andrew Wright.

Howard crossed for his second to start the second half and Jamie Guy then added the two points.

The Surrey side then produced their best rugby, scoring three tries with a combination of strong forward play and good running from the backs.

Thomas Yellowlees, Spencer Sutherland and Andrew Wright touched down with Roberts converting two and hitting the post with his final attempt.

Wharfedale finished strongly with tries from Oliver Cicognini and Daniel Tai Sen Choy, which Lloyd Davies converted.

Elsewhere in National One, Ampthill are the early front-runners after a 41-12 victory over Blaydon put them one point ahead of second-placed Coventry, who won convincingly 48-12 at Loughborough Students.

Rosslyn Park are the only team with a 100 per cent record edging out hosts Plymouth Albion 16-15.

Hartpury College’s 39-12 triumph over Fylde was enough to move them into fourth place in the standings.