Richmond held off a thrilling Esher fightback to secure a narrow 30-25 National Division One triumph on Saturday.

A penalty try in between scores from flanker Tom Sargeant and Joe Burton helped put director of rugby Steve Hill's men 30-8 up in the second half and seemingly cruising to a try bonus point triumph.

But Esher had other ideas as Mike Schmid's men scored three tries in nine second half minutes from Robbie Shaw, Paul Olima and skipper Ian Kench ensured a thrilling finish that ultimately saw the vistors fall short at the Athletic Ground.

‘This is a huge win for us," said Hill, whose side have opened the campaign with two wins.

"Esher are one of the strongest teams in this league so to secure a victory is very sweet. We showed a large amount of desire and ambition."

Richmond, fifth in the table, travel to Hartpury College next week, while Esher - who started the weekend on top of the pile - host Macclesfield.