Crucial win for Diss RFC

DISS RFC kicked off against Saffron Walden with the knowledge that a victory would virtually guarantee them the second place in the league and ensure them a place in the play-offs.

DISS RFC kicked off against Saffron Walden with the knowledge that a victory would virtually guarantee them the second place in the league and ensure them a place in the play-offs.

As expected Diss went straight into the attack and were unlucky not to score when a strong run by centre Steve Hipwell was thwarted at the last moment. However, as a sign of things to come, Saffron Walden made a quick breakaway and were soon on the Diss five metre line with the away side being forced into defence. As a result of a Diss player not rolling away, the home side were awarded a penalty which their centre missed.

There was an expectation that Diss would dominate the forward exchanges but the home side competed well and were able to turn over some ruck ball. However, in the line-out it was a different matter, with both second rows Ollie Marriot and Paul Cayley jumping well to secure good ball. Exchanges were very even with a strong cross wind making playing conditions difficult but gradually the Diss pack began to establish some dominance.

A rolling maul trundled up-field and crossed the line with Ollie Marriot in possession but unable to ground the ball. From the resulting five metre scrum, Diss secured good ball enabling No 8 Andy Horne to pick up from the base and dive over under the posts to score. Full back Chris Beaird converted to give Diss a seven point lead which they took into half-time.

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Diss were forced into a replacement early in the second half when Paul Cayley was forced to retire with a cut to the head. His place was taken by returning skipper Adam Williamson, who took his usual position at centre with Steve Hipwell moving back to the scrum. Diss found themselves once again able to turn over opposition ball in the line-out as Ollie Marriot plucked the ball out of the air. From the drive prop Tim Groom broke clear and stormed toward the line but was tackled just short. The referee awarded Diss a five metre scrum and they again forced their opponents back. Andy Horne was able to take good advantage, picking up the ball from the base to dive over and score a try which was not converted.

Just a few minutes later, Diss had two claims for a try refused when in close succession they crossed the opposition line appearing to score, only for the referee to decide that the ball had been held up. Saffron Walden were not going to concede easily and when the ball reached their backs, Diss were forced to fiercely defend on more than one occasion. However, with 10 minutes to go the away side gained possession from a line-out and second row Ali Butler ran strongly through opposition ranks before passing to winger Warren Wilby to score a try which skipper Adam Williamson stepped up to convert.

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Winger Aarron Bliss and prop Matt Richards were then replaced by Will Hemment and Josh Williams respectively. Diss continued to attack and after another surge toward the opposition line were awarded a scrum on five metres.

Just as it looked as if they would be held up, the ball was shipped to Tim Groom who powered over to score the final Diss try which Adam Williamson again converted. In the closing seconds the home side looked as if they must score only to be denied by a try saving tackle from Chris Beaird.

The final whistle came with Diss earning a hard fought victory against a Saffron Walden team that refused to give up.

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