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Fine festival showing by Diss U13

PUBLISHED: 09:38 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:03 12 July 2010

DISS U13 finished off their season in style, with a fine showing at the Hammonds Landrover Festival at Colchester.

They battled well to reach the final where they narrowly lost out by a single score to the hosts 7-0.

DISS U13 finished off their season in style, with a fine showing at the Hammonds Landrover Festival at Colchester.

They battled well to reach the final where they narrowly lost out by a single score to the hosts 7-0.

The festival had attracted 16 very good sides from all over the east of England.

Diss had been drawn in a group with old rivals Wymondham, Saffron Walden, Fakenham and the excellent Oundle.

The order for the day had to be to qualify for the later stages and anything else would be a bonus, considering the strength of the opposition.

Diss set about the task and it was obvious to all that they were on their game, playing a fast rucking, expansive game which has become their trademark.

Diss quickly dismissed the challenge from Wymondham and Saffron Walden, winning both games 27-0 and 35-0 respectively.

Next came the much-fancied Oundle, the tempo with which Diss started this game was electric and very soon Diss found themselves 17-0 in front.

Oundle regrouped and finished with a well-worked try. With three wins from three games Diss finished their group games with a win against a competitive Fakenham, 27-0 being the final score.

Having reached the quarter-final Diss then had the task of playing Fakenham again, this time however Fakenham seemed unable to compete allowing Diss to score freely.

The semi final was played against Bishop Stortford in a hotly-contested game. Bishops tried the tactic of playing a hard physical game up front, unfortunately for them this was exactly to Diss' liking and the lads blossomed in the battle, with the game being undecided at the final whistle.

Extra time was called for and the battle continued. Both sets of backs had cancelled each other out completely so leaving the match to be sorted out by the packs.

Diss eventually scored from a series of hard fought mauls. The final whistle went and Diss found themselves in the final against Colchester.

Colchester had not been beaten all season, having won everything, brushing all aside, including Diss in the process. Diss lads didn't seem to be fazed by this or by the size of the Colchester pack and set about the task of competing for the top prize.

The final started and from the offset the Diss pack led by captain Alex Twigge found themselves under pressure, however with boys like Leo Bond, Toby Bond, Oli Tucker, Calvin Beales, Joshua Sherman, Ali Bevan, Alex Maran and Tom West, Colchester couldn't break the Diss pack down and the Diss boys started to take the game to Colchester.

Diss, all the time growing in confidence, mounted their own assault and the Diss backs line of Kristian Williman, Harry Stenton, Kain Rix, Keiron Cooper, William Richardson, Toby Boom and the excellent novice Yanick Houghton shone in this battle both in attack and defence.

Colchester realised it was going to take something special to break Diss and it came in the shape of a cross-field kick, the bounce caught Diss out and in came the winger George to pounce on the ball to score.

With only a minute to play Diss rallied but to no avail. The final whistle blew and Colchester were jubilant, winning 7-0.

Diss had shown great character throughout the day and played some fantastic rugby in the process.

Coach Keith said: “Coaching this group of boys this year has been an absolute pleasure, and that their hard work and commitment n training and their attitude towards the game of rugby has been second to none.

“These boys have trained when there has been snow, ice, frozen pitches, no lights and when things have been really tough going they've rallied round and lifted each other by trying to lead by example.

“I'm very proud of these young guys and if this year's first on a full-size pitch has been the benchmark of the standard of which these guys choose to play, then I can only look forward to the future with them.”

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