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Stern test for Diss Thirds

PUBLISHED: 14:47 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 12 July 2010

Diss Rugby Club's third team were looking forward to the return leg of their 10-0 defeat away to Bury III just before Christmas.

But their optimism shrank as they saw 26 players turn up from the Suffolk League leaders due to Bury II's game being called off.

Diss Rugby Club's third team were looking forward to the return leg of their 10-0 defeat away to Bury III just before Christmas.

But their optimism shrank as they saw 26 players turn up from the Suffolk League leaders due to Bury II's game being called off.

Nevertheless, Diss were not going to lie down and die in front of the crowd at Mackenders.

For the first 15 minutes Diss locked horns with a far bigger pack than themselves and only a good move down the line saw the Greens' No. 8 go in at the corner.

Another try closer to the posts for the same player and another further out wide saw Diss go 17 points behind.

Then the Blues started to move the ball out wide where Tom Brown made a break and kicked ahead down his wing for the follow-up to be chased down by Owen Atkinson.

Brown had been taken out late and the resulting penalty from where the ball landed was taken quickly and scored by Atkinson, converted from a tight angle by Ben Askew.

The speed of Brown soon proved too much for the Bury defence and he went in to score Diss' second try, again converted by Askew.

Diss were now on the front foot only to have the whistle for half-time end their progress going into the second half 14-17 down.

Bury saw they were up against a team full of spirit and youth so wholesale changes were made, including the introduction of Peter Clarke (from Northampton Saints) to bolster their back line.

Colt Dan Tomkins had a superb game at hooker in the line-out pin-pointing his jumpers with accuracy along with Peter Bray using his great vision and bulk to make good charging runs, which kept Bury from running away with the game.

Seventeen-year-old Matt Smith replaced Ian Webster at scrum-half for his first Diss third-team game and showed great promise, supplying the three quarters at every opportunity.

Bury only managed to score four more tries in the second half but converted them all to make the 45-14 scoreline flattering.

Huge praise should be given to the dogged tackling, application and effort given by the young Diss third team and this match will only help them on their way up.

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