Diss 21, Basingstoke 26

Diss turned in a much improved performance in front of a big crowd but only had a bonus point to show for their efforts in a game between the two sides at the bottom of National 3 London Southeast.

The home side lost winger Aaron Bliss with an ankle injury during the warm-up and this gave Harry Gooderham his debut earlier than expected. He had a number of good runs, was strong in defence and is clearly a player to watch.

Basingstoke were led out by ex-Samoan international Junior Paramour who played for his country 27 times and was a hero at Premiership club Gloucester.

Diss started the brighter side and were soon up following a try by Charlie Precious, duly converted by Chris Beaird. Diss received another blow when after only five minutes Will Farrer caught a stray boot, picked up a head injury and was unable to continue. The home pack was in the ascendancy, with a number of good moves, but one pass too many led to an interception try for the visiting left winger. Basingstoke were then awarded a penalty and the lead changed before a strong run by their centre broke the Diss defensive line for an unconverted try. Diss continued to dominate up front against the larger pack and Pete Bray forced his way over, supported by Abercrombie, with Beaird converting. A second penalty for Basingstoke left the half-time score at 14-16.

The second half continued in much the same way as the first with neither side able to dominate.

Basingstoke scored a well worked try through their forwards which was converted before Steve Hipwell, who made a number of impressive runs, scored for Diss, with Beaird converting. The visitors converted a penalty to take a five-point lead before Diss were awarded a late penalty and, with only a try being of use, went for the corner and the win.

Eventually the clock ran down and Diss had to be content with a bonus point when five points were on the cards. However a much improved performance sets up a vital battle with North Walsham at Mackenders on Saturday.

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