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Norwich claim narrow win at Diss to reach Norfolk Senior Cup final

PUBLISHED: 09:27 12 February 2018

Diss plough forward through the mud during Saturday's cup semi-final against Norwich. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Diss plough forward through the mud during Saturday's cup semi-final against Norwich. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Archant

Norwich secured a thoroughly deserved Norfolk Cup victory against Diss in conditions that called for a defined game plan and determined defensive strategy.

The visitors possessed both the elements needed, especially an outstanding rearguard, that set up a decisive penalty deep into the final quarter.

Norwich controlled possession from the outset, placing higher ranked Diss under extreme pressure, and on five minutes a superb cross-kick set up the first scoring opportunity.

With the ball skidding on a wet surface Theo Elliot secured possession to open the scoring and place the home side under immediate pressure. It took Diss some 20 minutes to respond, eventually controlling possession through their forwards and pressuring the Norwich 22.

Possession from a driving line-out should have resulted in a score but poor decision making and ball retention allowed Norwich to resist the onslaught time and again. John Bergin and Matt Richards led a determined drive, allowing Aaron Forest to also use an intelligent cross-kick, which was quickly seized upon by Shaun Blyth. He won the foot race to the ball to draw the scores level on the stroke of half time.

With the conditions deteriorating rapidly in the second half, patience was required, coupled with a clear playing strategy, in order to seize any scoring opportunities that came along.

Diss attacked non-stop over a 20-minute period without any success as time and again the entire Norwich team placed their bodies on the line.

A Diss five metre scrummage should have resulted in some sort of score but they were unable to control possession at crucial times.

John Bergin and Fraser Hall manfully strove to take the game deep into the Norwich half only to see possession squandered or attacking opportunities halted by the stern Norwich defence.

Deep into the final quarter Norwich lifted the siege and placed the home side under pressure for the first time in the half. They were eventually awarded a penalty some 30 metres out, for an infringement at a ruck and Elliot calmly stepped up to secure a well deserved victory for the visitors.

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