Diss in outstanding cup semi-final
OUTSTANDING is the only way that describes the Norfolk U13 rugby cup semi-final between Diss and North Walsham. Two sides battled away, total commitment and concentration was the order for the day with North Walsham the eventual winners 19-7.
OUTSTANDING is the only way that describes the Norfolk U13 rugby cup semi-final between Diss and North Walsham.
Two sides battled away, total commitment and concentration was the order for the day with North Walsham the eventual winners 19-7.
Diss approached the game knowing they'd beaten their hot rivals two months previously at Scottow in a closely contested game. The match began in typical fashion with the formidable Diss pack hammering away at Walsham's pack, the Bond twins leading the way with tighthead Toby and his brother Leo in his new position of No 8, only to be repelled time after time by a determined Walsham defence.
Walsham's defence were so good it enabled them to take confidence and grow as the game progressed. Scrum half Ryan Tanner's ball distribution was second to none, with fly-half Harry Stenton able to unleash a full repertoire of moves, with centre pairing of Kain Rix and Oli Thorndon causing chaos within the Walsham midfield.
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With Diss looking like drawing first blood the Walsham pack then unleashed a few surprises of their own, turning ball over and quickly moving out wide for outside-centre Bradfield to outpace Diss' backline to score under the posts.
With the try being converted and Diss a score behind the scenario changed with Diss upping their game, the result being a midfield battle between Rix and Bradfield, both cancelling each other out, keeping the ball within the confines of both sets of forwards.
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Walsham's pack fighting for any scraps with the heavier Diss pack at times outplaying them.
Diss then produced their own moment of magic, with a move that saw Diss hit four phases of play and a clean set of hands for winger Keiron Cooper to score, Barney Chenery converting and half-time arriving with the scores all level.
The second half started with such ferocity and the game travelled to and fro.
Walsham fly-half Agnew unleashed his own contribution to the game with outstanding territorial kicks and line breaking runs only for Diss winger Bevan to halt him in his tracks. Diss managed to gain the upper hand and took the game to Walsham.
Walsham camped in their own 22 produced a massive defence and eventually forced an error from the impatient Diss pack the result being a quick penalty and again Bradfield running the length of the field to score.
With Diss now chasing the game the game saw some tactical changes which saw Kain Rix move back to his preferred position of No 8 and a game of tactical nous ensued and Walsham now aware of the danger of the Diss back row the concentration of Walsham's game turned to defence, Walsham patiently waiting for their chance of Diss making a mistake, which when happened would prove deadly.
With two minutes on the clock to play Walsham were able to break out of their 22 and again Bradfield ran the length of the field to finish Diss off.
North Walsham deservedly winning the game 19-7, through a bloody minded defence and an outstanding Oli Bradfield.
Coaches Soowter from Walsham and Diss' Rix can only be licking their lips at the prospect of a rosy future for some of these young stars and the battles which follow.