Diss 27, North Walsham 16: Diss shrug off loss of coach Sharpe to lift Norfolk Senior Cup
- Credit: Archant
Diss shrugged off the shock departure of coach Phil Sharpe to lift the Woodfordes Norfolk Senior Cup for the second year running on Saturday.
Playing their first match since Sharpe's decision to quit the club to take on a similar role at Lowestoft and Yarmouth, Diss recovered from a half-time deficit to record an emphatic victory at a packed Mackenders.
They were playing their first match in this season's competition after a couple of walk-overs, while opponents North Walsham had only played one fixture to reach the final.
But the game still provided a fitting climax to the season, with newly promoted Walsham giving their higher ranked opponents a good run for their money before being beaten in the showpiece for the second year running.
North Walsham took the initiative and put Diss under extreme pressure in the first ten minutes, scoring a try through Chris Kent, converted by Henry Dewing, and a Dewing penalty to lead 10-0. The visitors were at this stage dominating all phases of play but Diss gradually began to gain possession and what soon became obvious was that their offloading and driving game was going to cause the opposition problems. Following a dominant scrum and excellent handling from the Diss forwards, Jamie Burroughs was able to crash over close to the posts.
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Charlie Pask converted the try to put Diss right back in the game. North Walsham then capitalised on two errors at the breakdown penalised by the referee and the half-time score was 16-7 to the visitors after two more Dewing penalties.
As the game developed in the second half Diss started to dominate in all facets of play. The forwards controlled the ball at the set-piece and were now beginning to release the three quarters. Following an intense period of driving rucks and scrums the referee lost his patience and awarded Diss a penalty try that Pask converted.
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Diss now adopted a much more open approach to the game and Peter Bray scored following outstanding approach work from the entire team. The game was now beyond Walsham and Diss added two more penalties to run out convincing winners.
It was a complete team performance from Diss, with the coaching team of Si Cooper and Tim Groom having brought some real determination into the side.