Diss 36 Romford 24 – Tight at the top as Diss dig deep for victory

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- Credit: Archant © 2009

Diss ran out conclusive winners after a tightly-fought and thoroughly entertaining encounter – but slipped to second in the London 2NE table.

Saffron Walden took over top spot from Diss on points difference after a 60-24 home win over Rochford Hundred.

Diss played the first 10 minutes on the front foot and following superb handling skills from George Gooderham, a sweeping move saw Sean McClure open the account. On 13 minutes poor defence in the Diss midfield saw Romford reduce the deficit and send out a warning shot to the morning league leaders. Diss needed to secure superiority, but a lack of composure and an inability to set up attacking positions in the Romford half created a stalemate.

On 23 minutes a dominant Diss scrummage rolled their opponents back at pace, allowing No8 Gooderham to score, Sean McClure converting. As half-time approached, Diss were beginning to assert dominance in open play, with Kami Latu, Matt Richards and the ageless Paul Cayley combining superbly, allowing Jamie Burroughs, Jack Peacock and McClure to attack at pace and with width. The only negative feature of the first half was a lack of precision.

Following poor technique at a scrummage, Romford capitalised to open the scoring in the second half, but Diss responded across all areas of the field. The dominant Diss eight secured attacking ball for the likes of Peacock, McClure and Giles West, who opened up the Romford defence on numerous occasions. Burroughs seized on a gap at an attacking ruck five metres out to score spectacularly and following attacking play from Josh Ludkin, Cayley received the ball on the 22 and went over.

On 63 minutes Diss produced the champagne moment – from deep in their own half, they attacked through the midfield, eventually releasing Gooderham, who slipped the ball to McClure, who side-stepped two players and touched down.

With all bonus points secured, Diss fell off a number of tackles to allow Romford one last hurrah. But on 75 minutes a flowing move involving West and Gooderham saw Kami Latu sprint down the left and seal the win.

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