Diss battle well but lose derby

DIss 8, North Walsham 20

RUGBY: Diss put up a fight, but a strong finish saw Walsham pull away after the county rivals had gone in at the break level.

For Diss, who are bottom of the National League Three London & South-East table, there was the consolation of having competed well in one of Norfolk rugby's showpiece games of the season.

This Saturday brings another tough away fixture at Barnes who are third in the league.

Against Walsham, Diss had the edge in the scrum but a more disciplined Walsham performance made the pressure tell in an all-action second half.

Jake Harris, playing at outside- half for Walsham, converted a penalty. Much of the play at this stage was across the pitch, rather than direct, because of committed Diss tackling.

After 28 minutes, with full-back Barry Frost in the line, right wing Adam Couzens scored a try for the Vikings. Harris failed with the conversion.

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Soon after, Walsham gave away a penalty, which Diss centre Chris Beaird kicked. Diss No 8 Stephen Hipwell then made a 20 metre break from halfway, and, following further pressure on the Walsham line, Hipwell was able to score a pushover try. Beaird failed with the conversion, leaving the half-time score at 8-8.

In the second period Beaird missed an early penalty chance for Diss but Walsham were seeing more of the ball, with good lines being run by Jack Hoyles at outside-centre, Jamie Burroughs at 12, wing-forward Alex Harrod and new left-wing Ryan Healy.

Diss began to give away penalties, and a further break by Hoyles put Walsham hooker Mike Henry in for a try, converted by Harris, to make the score 15-8.

Late on, Sandberg made a wonderful break from 15 metres, scoring an unconverted try.