Diss go into promotion showdown on a high note

Diss, pictured in action earlier in the season, were too good for Epping Upper Clapton. Picture: Jo

Diss, pictured in action earlier in the season, were too good for Epping Upper Clapton. Picture: John Bulloch - Credit: John Bulloch

Diss maintained top spot in London Two North East with an ultimately comfortable victory against determined visitors who certainly proved up for the challenge.

Immediately from the kick-off, Diss opened their account when John Laurie broke through the scrambling defence to send Sean McClure over.

McClure converted, establishing a period of dominance for the home side, and on five minutes a flowing move through the three quarters sent Giles West over in the far corner. McClure stepped up again to convert, thus giving the Mackenders outfit the best possible start.

Diss now fell into a malaise of inaccuracy and over-confidence. Rather than playing the game in the opposition half, they tried to play a far too expansive game in their own 22, allowing Upper Clapton the opportunity to capitalise on any errors. Visiting captain Mitchell Sinfield scored following a series of driving mauls and the second half ended with Diss on the front foot, but hardly in complete control.

David Smith's half-time team talk certainly had the desired effect. Diss immediately lifted the tempo and pace while the fitness levels of the pack began to impact, with the key ball carriers creating opportunities for the three quarters.

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Following determined forays by Kemi Latu, Laurie and Ali Abercrombie, inside centre Jamie Burroughs broke through to score on 53 minutes, McClure converting and thus establishing complete control.

Now firmly in control of possession and territory, the home side began to go for the jugular and the influence of man-of-the-match Warren Wilby in midfield was now impacting hugely. His break and clever chip kick along the clubhouse touchline was retrieved by West, who raced over to score his second try of the day and secure a vital bonus point.

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A further McClure penalty extended the lead and for all intents and purposes secured another comprehensive home win. A final foray into the Clapton half allowed Alex Leader the opportunity to dummy and race over for a final score.

Diss now travel to South Woodham Ferrers next week for a season-defining encounter that will go a long way to deciding the automatic promotion spot.

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