Diss lose - but there's a late bonus
Bishop's Stortford 49, Diss 24: A determined second half display was not enough to prevent Diss from suffering a defeat in what was only their second game in two months. There was a delay getting to the ground, which meant the team was not fully prepared and this showed early on.
A determined second half display was not enough to prevent Diss from suffering a defeat in what was only their second game in two months.
There was a delay getting to the ground, which meant the team was not fully prepared and this showed early on. It was a case of Diss battling to get a foothold in the game, while Stortford's pack kept releasing their back-line to score 23 unanswered points.
Chris Beaird did have one penalty kick at goal, but with his injured groin he was not successful.
Then Diss started to apply the pressure, with the pack repeatedly attacking around the ruck. Josh Ludkin was just bundled into touch but eventually a short pass from Will Hemmant, after a series of drives, led to Deaglan Hall scoring by the posts and Beaird converting.
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However Stortford ran in another slick try through the backs to stretch their lead before the break.
The second half began with a long kick over the Stortford back line being picked up by the fullback and the backs cruised through to score. Steve MacQueen was then yellow carded and Stortford made their extra numbers pay to score again.
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The Diss pack started to keep the ball in hand, and a series of drives and mauls led to Mike Fuller touching down at the back of the drive. Two minutes later the pack turned over the ball, and Chris Howard was able to pick up by the halfway line and outsprint the defence to score. The thoughts of the supporters moved to the possibility of four tries and the bonus point.
In the battle of the packs in the last 25 minutes there were three more yellow cards, and at one time both Deaglan Hall and Tim Groom were watching together from the sidelines, leaving the Stortford pack an easy pushover try.
The last five minutes saw Diss pushing for that fourth try. With the last play of the game the home No 9 tried to kick to touch from behind his own line. The ball was blocked and fell into the grateful hands of Josh Williams who dropped to the ground to score his first try for the first team, and more importantly, the bonus point try for Diss.