Double delight for Diss
Sutton and Epsom 17, Diss 22FOR the first time this season Diss RFC first team did the double, beating the 129-year-old club from Surrey both home and away.The outcome of this match was critical to both clubs and was reflected in the ding-dong match - with the lead frequently changing sides.
Sutton and Epsom 17,
FOR the first time this season Diss did the double, beating the 129-year-old club from Surrey both home and away.
The outcome of this match was critical to both clubs and was reflected in the ding-dong match - with the lead frequently changing sides.
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After the game, retiring director of rugby Henry Lind praised the whole team for their efforts, saying it would be invidious to single out any individual, and he was looking forward to the last two games of the season against Tring and Haywards Heath.
The first quarter of the game saw Diss have total domination territorially but failing to turn this into points. Chris Beaird narrowly missed a penalty and the pack were frequently frustrated on the hosts' try line.
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A breakout by Sutton looked to be a certain score but a brilliant covering tackle by Warren Wilby caught their flying winger just short of the line when a score looked inevitable.
Eventually, the Diss pack secured a well-deserved try following an intense campaign on the line, the credit going to Tim Groom.
Diss, in a not unusual generous gesture, allowed the ball to be turned over and Bennet went over for Sutton for a try then converted by Munford to give the home side a two-point advantage.
After some excellent moves with the ball finding its way into the hands of Carl Smith, he sliced through the home defence to touch down. Beaird added the conversion for a 14-12 advantage.
Another penalty for Sutton was converted by Mundford to put the home side back in front. Steve Hipwell, using all his skill and strength, got across the line but was adjudged by the referee to have been held up.
After another penalty, this time converted by Chris Beard, put the visitors ahead again, matched quickly by Munford to restore the advantage to the home side.
At this stage the game was punctuated by injuries to both sides which saw the referee
losing patience, carding Ollie Marreieot and the Pete Bray for Diss and James Bennet for Sutton, leaving 13 Diss players against 14 from Sutton.
The visitors' fly-half was replaced by Andrew Horne with Steve Hipwell moving from number eight to centre and Matthew Gardner taking the number 10 spot.
England student Elliot Page came on in the second row, replacing Stuart Butler who had had an excellent game.
With eight minutes to go came the crucial move of the match with Andrew Thorpe making a trademark interception, leaving the defenders in his wake to score between the posts, Beaird adding the vital conversion points.
The visitors spent the last few minutes hammering away at their hosts' line, roared on by the travelling support trying to score the vital fourth try for a bonus point.
This was not to be - despite three times crossing the line only for a held-up decision to rob them of the score that would have put them one point clear of North Walsham and up a place in the league.