Basildon 12, Diss 12
Diss had to be content with a share of the spoils from their latest London 1N fixture after letting a 12-0 lead slip away.
The sleet started to come down heavily as Diss arrived in Essex but it stopped to reveal bright and drier conditions as kick-off approached. The chilly conditions remained, making passing tricky as cold hands tried to grasp the ball.
This was never going to be a pretty match and Diss recognised that they needed to tighten up their approach and play a narrower game to combat the conditions and to rebuild confidence that had been lacking in previous weeks.
The Blues certainly played with more self belief and determination than they showed in the defeats against Brentwood and Eton Manor, attacking Basildon in greater numbers and making ground. But too often they lost the ball trying to force passes to maintain the momentum.
Giles West, man of the match, scored the first try racing in from his wing. A further try came from Chris Beaird when one of his trademark receptions of a poorly kicked defensive ball saw him charge through from the home team's 10-metre line and touch down under the posts, a score that was duly converted.
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The wind picked up and made penalty kicks at goal virtually impossible. Penalties given away by Diss saw the home side make ground and score. Momentum was lost as Diss suffered the loss of rejuvenated stalwart Charlie Crotty to a broken leg and taking advantage of his now absent ball carrying and ferocious defence, Basildon evened up the scores.
Diss will take heart from a more supported attack but know that they are capable of so much more.
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