Diss 13, Brentwood 8
14:44 26 March 2012
Diss came up against a determined Brentwood side and in the end it was their fitness and spirit that enabled them to record a fourth straight win.
From the kick-off Diss put the pressure on and were rewarded with a Chris Beaird penalty.
But Brentwood were not daunted by their visit to fortress Mackenders and counter-attacked with flair and passion. It was from one such move that the visitors scored the first try of the match, after some slick handling by their backs.
Diss put in a number of their own counter-attacks that forced Brentwood onto their back feet for a large part of the first half. A surging run from Alistair Abercrombie from the Diss try line, admirably supported by Tim Groom, took them up to the half way line, the ensuing attack only losing impetus because of wrong options being taken by the backs. Brentwood pushed Diss back in all phases of the forward game after every counter attack. However, this game is a game of two halves and Phil Sharpe made some changes at half-time, bringing on the roving Warren Wilby and giving Reeder Winslet a game at centre and thus turned the game around. Diss started the second half with the same level of commitment given during the first and surprised Brentwood with the quality of their driving maul, Charles Crotty in particular proving to be a thorn in their side. The first Diss try was as a result of the pressure being exerted on the opposition pack, Peter Chartier quickly feeding the ball out to Zak Seward, who, seeing the effervescent Wilby taking an attacking line, fed it straight out to him and he was able to score in the corner. With Warren beginning to exert an influence on his opposition centre, Diss responded with a number of good incisive moves that allowed them to gain the upper hand in the middle of the field, Andrew Horne and Chris Craven catching the eye. This pressure soon resulted in Brentwood giving way with a yellow card in the last 10 minutes. With 14 men they could not stop the inevitable, Wilby scoring again in the other corner after some bright play between the forwards and backs. Brentwood closed the game with a late penalty.
Sharpe will take some pleasure from the result, which consolidates the league position for Diss and will allow the coach to try out other players before the end of the season.