Sedgley Tigers snatched a last-gasp home victory against Richmond to make it a winning start to life in National League One.

The Park Lane outfit scored with the last play of their opener against relegated Championship side Richmond to win 32-31 following last season’s promotion from National Two North.

Richmond are a big, well-drilled and experienced team and early pressure in the Sedgley half gave them their first try after strong driving play by their forwards. They followed this 11 minutes later with a second after a penalty catch-and-drive deep in the hosts’ 22. Both scores were converted and they were in the lead 14-0 after 28 minutes, looking threatening every time they had the ball.

However, a great passage of play by the Tigers, involving phase after phase and a lovely offload from Oscar Crowe, saw winger Rhys Henderson touch down between the posts. Fly-half Warren Seals added the conversion and they were back in the game going into the last 10 minutes of the half.

But Richmond hit back with their third converted try after the home side were penalised in their 22.

A penalty just before the interval, converted by Seals, reduced the arrears to 21-10 at the interval.

Sedgley started the second half playing with more control and momentum, looking after possession well - and a lovely run down the right saw the ball moved through a number of hands for full-back Andy Riley to touch down. Seals added the conversion and they were now back to just 21-17 behind.

Fresh legs off the bench gave them the impetus and energy to kick on and pressure the Richmond defence at every opportunity.

An accurate catch-and-drive by the forwards deep in the Richmond 22 saw hooker Danny Maher touch down for the Tigers’ third try and take the lead 22-21 going into the last 15 minutes.

However, a yellow card for second row Bob Birtwell saw them down to 14 players and it was within this 10-minute period Richmond hit back and scored two more tries. Andy Riley unbelievably charged down one of the conversions which meant they only scored 10 points instead of 14 which was to prove vital in the final score.

The hosts got back to full strength and put the pressure firmly on the visitors.

A penalty almost on the final whistle gave them a lineout on their line which the forwards drove over for hooker Maher get his second and the team’s fourth try before Seal’s conversion made it 31-29 to the visitors.

With the last play of the game, Tigers were awarded a penalty for a high tackle and star man Seals stepped up on his debut to convert and seal a 32-31 win and the five points.

Coach Steve Hazzelby said: “Richmond had been relegated from the championship at the end of last season so we knew this would be a huge challenge against this strong London outfit.

“We gave away too many penalties in this first half through indiscipline which gave Richmond valuable territory and possession from which they capitalised.

“But we battled back and it was a fantastic achievement from all of the players and a winning start to the new season.

“There’s a special mention for Warren who was awarded man of the match, but also for full-back Andy Riley whose special performance and that charge down gave us the win.”

This Saturday Sedgley travel to Birmingham Moseley.