PREVIEW: Ealing Trailfinders 1st XV v Richmond 1st XV 2nd January

Weather permitting, we will welcome near neighbours Richmond FC back to Vallis Way for the first of the turnaround games, on Saturday 2nd January. With the season having reached its half way stage we will be welcoming some big teams to Vallis Way, and despite their league position, Richmond will arrive looking to put right what happened at the Athletic Ground in September.

Ealing’s Ben Ward always looks forward to games against the Mond:

"Playing Richmond is always good. They were our first league game of the season so it’s hard to read too much into that result. Last time out they pushed league leaders Barking all the way and from the sounds of it were unlucky not to get a result. It should be a tough and exciting game to start the new year."

A brief history of Richmond FC

Now Richmond’s plight is well known, when the professional outfit went bust in 1999, the club re-invented itself, and in the  2000/01 season they found themselves relegated 8 leagues, into Herts & Middlesex 1. Despite this drop, they set about National league record of an 83 match winning streak, and finally returned to the National Leagues last season when they won London 1 and with it the right to play where they see themselves today.

Last season ended with a very respectful 4th place in their first season back. However as 2010 beckons, their league form has in their own words been patchy.

They currently lie in 12th pace, 4 wins and 9 losses from their 13 outings. They did however run leaders Barking close at Goresbrook just before the Christmas break, but by their own high standards their home form has been hit and miss, with losses against Lydney (20-21) and Barnes (21-32) amongst those they would have targeted for a better return.

Full back & skipper Matt Hart top the points table for Richmond with 148, including 5 tries, followed by Luke Cousins & Alistair Simmie with 4 tries apiece. Richmond’s form over the past 6 games leading into this encounter has seen them win one games (40-19 v Westcombe Park at the Athletic Ground), whilst they have only achieved one win this season on the road (Henley Hawks (25-36)).

Despite the visitors league position, Ealing Trailfinders DoR Mike Cudmore will not take them lightly: 

"We are all looking forward to the Richmond game at home.  They were unlucky to lose at Barking recently and I am sure it will be a very tough local derby.  It was frustrating not playing last week at Barnes after out good home performance against Clifton.  The players will be working hard individually and collectively over the Christmas period in preparation for the Richmond game and in doing so look to produce a good home performance."

Previous meetings between Ealing Trailfinders & Richmond FC

12/09/09 Richmond 17 Ealing Trailfinders 32

04/04/09 Ealing Trailfinders 51 Richmond 10 

20/12/08 Richmond 22 Ealing Trailfinders 27