Diss lose a thriller

Diss 30, Basingstoke 35For the neutral supporter this was one of the best games of rugby seen at Mackenders for many years. It was a nail-biting game that could have gone either way, but in the end Diss were yet again just edged out.

Diss 30, Basingstoke 35

For the neutral supporter this was one of the best games of rugby seen at Mackenders for many years.

It was a nail-biting game that could have gone either way, but in the end Diss were yet again just edged out.

Diss could have won this game and perhaps should have won it, but the commitment could not be faulted.


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The pack especially, led by captain Deaglan Hall, had one of their outstanding matches, putting the opposition under immense pressure and regularly stealing the ball in the loose and turning the ball over. All eight can be proud of their work.

The match started with a penalty to the visitors, but Diss soon replied when a long kick was taken by Andy Thorpe, who sprinted across the field and passed to Alex Kelsall.

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His kick down the line was collected by Warren Wilby who scored in the corner, but he was unable to make the conversion. Kelsall was hurt during the play and soon had to be replaced by Aaron Bliss. Basingstoke replied with a converted try, before a surging drive by Chris Howard, supported by the rest of the pack, led to a touch down by Hall, converted by Wilby.

Five minutes later Hall scored another try after more good close work by the pack. The conversion was unsuccessful but Diss led 17-13 at the break.

The second half started like the first, with an immediate penalty, this time to Diss, successfully taken by Wilby.

There followed a period of sustained pressure from the visitors, but despite the ferocious tackling from Ali Butler and Greg Gaughin in particular, they were not able to keep out the visitors, who scored two tries. Thorpe then intercepted a pass that would have given the visitors another certain try, but eventually the visitors found a way through.

Bliss was tap tackled as he sprinted for the line following more good stealing work on the ground by the pack, but the ball was cleared.

There was then a sustained period of pressure by Diss, with Tim Groom being adjudged to have crossed with another player, but the pack, marshalled by Rhuan Jones, rallied and put Gaughin over under the posts for his first try for Diss, which was converted by Wilby.

Basingstoke held out at a series of line-outs and mauls, and secured the win with a penalty at the death.

The players can be justly proud of their efforts and the talk in the clubhouse afterwards was of the effort being made by the team.

Diss are starting to show that they will give all sides a hard game - but the line between winning and losing at this level is small.

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