Diss 36 Norwich 7 – Diss strike first blow in back-to-back derby games
- Credit: Andy Micklethwaite
Derby victory has kept title hopes very much alive for Diss – ahead of their upcoming top-of-the-table clash with Chelmsford.
The big win against Norfolk rivals Norwich extended Diss' winning streak to seven matches, although Norwich will have the chance to avenge the defeat straight away.
Diss head to Beeston Hyrne on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup, before travelling to league leaders Chelmsford the following weekend, who they are level on points with at the summit of London Two North-East.
Diss continued on their winning ways at Mackenders but for the whole of the first half Norwich had other ideas and kept their hosts at bay, to make the half-time score of 5-0 to the hosts a very fair reflection.
Both sides had good attacking possibilities spoilt by some uncharacteristic handling errors. However, it was a classic three-quarters move by Diss which led to Tom Holt going over halfway out to open the scoring. The conversion attempt just faded at the last second to inch outside the upright.
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The whole match was punctuated by long injuries which added a total of 22 minutes to the second half, but fortunately none of them were too serious
Both hookers had excellent games in the loose and were constantly upsetting their opponents.
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Diss came out for the second period with a different attitude and straight away put Norwich under intense pressure. An indiscretion by Tom Holt saw the Diss try scorer have an enforced 10-minute rest.
John Laurie, who had come on at half-time, had an immediate effect on the game and after a very good build-up he scored the next try, converted by Jack Keppel.
A brilliant three-quarters move involving six of the Diss backs culminated in a superb try by Jack Peacock whose kicking out of hand had been a masterpiece all through the match.
A further try by Giles West, converted by Keppel, gave Diss their try bonus point. Diss then seemed to relax and some expansive moves broke down when a score looked inevitable. Norwich had not given up at all and were becoming more successful in the loose and beating Diss to the breakdown regularly.
From a promising Diss move on the right wing, the ball passing through several players with ease, the ball was dropped then hacked on by Norwich wing Michael Campton-Smith who cantered in for a gift-wrapped try which was converted by Ben Girling to bring the score to 24-7.
For the next 10 minutes Norwich pressured the Diss line which held fast with the whole team committing themselves to defence. At this stage Norwich's Neil Dunleavey was sent to the sin bin and Diss surged up field, the ball passing through several pairs of hands ending up in the clutches of veteran second row Paul Cayley who dived over for an excellent try, the conversion narrowly failing.
Norwich showed they were not there merely as spectators and launched a series of attacks on the Diss line, one such move from the hallway line was halted in its tracks by a crunching tackle by scrum-half Jamie Burroughs.
The final few minutes of a very entertaining encounter saw Diss besiege their visitors' line and eventually scored a converted try credited to the whole pack to make the final score 36-7.
The large crowd had been treated to an excellent afternoon's entertainment. Part two is next week when the clubs lock horns again in the cup, with a home final up for grabs.