Diss aim to bounce back

Diss will be looking to get back to winning ways at Stevenage in the league after dropping a home point against Eton Manor.Preparations have once again been hampered by an increasing injury list.

Diss will be looking to get back to winning ways at Stevenage in the league after dropping a home point against Eton Manor.

Preparations have once again been hampered by an increasing injury list.

The Saracens have an away fixture against North Walsham 2nds, while the 3rds are away versus Thetford 2nds in a Merit Table game. The 4ths complete the senior line-up with a Merit Table fixture away versus Holt 3rds. All kick-offs are at 2.30p.m.

On Sunday the Colts play Norwich at home while both U17s and U16s have home fixture versus Sudbury. The U15s are away at Lowestoft & Yarmouth, and the U14s travel to Bury St Edmunds. The U13s play at North Walsham in the Norfolk Cup. Finally, the Minis have a home training session.

Diss will be disappointed to have lost a point at home, drawing 16-16 with Eton Manor, but on the balance of play cannot complain about the result.

A battling Eton Manor side travelled to Mackenders determined to ease the threat of relegation, and in the end deserved their draw. The home side had enough chances to put the result beyond doubt in the first half but were unable to finish them.

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A combination of poor discipline and frustration seemed to prevent them being able to gain a decisive advantage as in previous games.

The visitors kicked off but it was Diss who started the brighter of the two teams. After gaining possession deep in the opposition half, the forwards were making good progress when an opposition player was caught off his feet in the eighth minute and a penalty awarded.

Diss skipper Adam Williamson was unlucky to see his kick strike the left post and bounce back on the wrong side.

Eton Manor then attacked and gained some useful possession of their own. In particular their scrum was working well, and they managed to overturn Diss ball.

After a Diss player was caught handling on the floor, the opposition fly-half made no mistake with the penalty kick to give the visitors a three-point lead in the 15th minute. Eight minutes later the referee sent Adam Williamson to the sin bin for what he regarded as a dangerous tackle.

The Eton Manor fly-half once again successfully converted the resulting penalty to give them a six-point lead.

Both sides then found themselves temporarily down to 14 men when the Eton Manor lock was sent to the bin for persistently coming in at the side.

After Diss overturned possession deep in their own half the ball was fed down the back line and eventually reached winger Alex Kelsall who outpaced three opposition players to score a thrilling try in the left corner. The conversion was narrowly missed, but Diss now had some momentum to their game.

The home side continued to dominate the remaining minutes of the first half, and a promising attack was only brought to a halt after an opposition player was caught coming in at the side. Adam Williamson gave Diss a two-point lead at half-time as he converted the penalty award.

Alex Kelsall injured his shoulder and was replaced at the start of the second half by Seb Goodge coming on as fly-half with Matt Gardner moving to centre and Warren Wilby to the wing. Just minutes into the half Diss hooker Richard Horne became the third player of the afternoon to be shown a yellow card, when he was adjudged to be persistently handling in the ruck. Eton Manor launched a series of attacks, forcing Diss to defend desperately. After a series of scrums had been re-set the visitors managed to gain an advantage and scored a converted try from close range giving them a five point advantage.

When Diss were restored to full strength, they once again went on the attack, and were awarded a penalty on the 22 when an opposition player was caught offside. Adam Williamson successfully converted to reduce the deficit to just two points.

Just three minutes later Diss took the lead when the Diss pack gained good possession on the Eton Manor five-metre line. After re-cycling the ball through several phases the ball was fed out to scrum-half Rick Holt who scored an unconverted try from close range to give Diss a three-point lead.

The referee issued two more yellow cards to Diss prop Matt Richards and his opposite number after an altercation following a scrum.

With both sides down to 14 men the game became very scrappy, but the final score came when Eton Manor were awarded a penalty after Diss were caught coming in at the side. This was successfully converted to even the scores and give a final score of 16-all.