Diss pegged back after strong start
Basingstoke 37, Diss 22: Diss let a commanding position slip away as their first visit to Basingstoke ended in defeat. The Blues led 17-3 near the end of the first half, but conceded a try just before the break and then saw their advantage overturned in a disastrous second half.
Diss let a commanding position slip away as their first visit to Basingstoke ended in defeat.
The Blues led 17-3 near the end of the first half, but conceded a try just before the break and then saw their advantage overturned in a disastrous second half.
It was a changed side again due to injuries, with selection changes being made on the morning due to illness. Tim Groom travelled despite the distraction of new baby Emily arriving in midweek.
Diss were playing into a strong breeze in the first half, but were soon on the attack. A fine move through the backs was just knocked on when Diss had the overlap, but the referee, who had been playing advantage, called play back for the penalty, which Warren Wilby put between the posts.
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The scores were soon even again, as Diss were penalised for offside.
Basingstoke's back line were bigger and slicker than Diss, and only a series of handling errors led to them not putting more points on the board.
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With 20 minutes gone, the Basingstoke number eight was yellow carded for persistent offences, and from a Basingstoke scrum, the power of the Diss pack caused the ball to shoot out for Mike Fuller to pick up and cross the line for the try, which was converted by Warren Wilby.
The Basingstoke pack was held up as it crossed the line, and Chris Beaird stole the ball as another player went over. In attack Diss, led by Deaglan Hall, were causing problems, and Andy Thorpe beat three players cutting in from the wing to score near the posts. Wilby again converted.
With three minutes of the first half to play, Mike Fuller was sent to the bench for 10 minutes, and Basingstoke scored a converted try with the last play of the half.
The second half started with the home side on the front foot, and the game changed after seven minutes when Wilby missed a long range penalty, and Groom had to be replaced by Josh Williams because of a dead leg.
From then on it was a series of four tries by the home side, before Matt Richards broke out of a catch and drive from the line-out, to run 15 metres to score. Unfortunately the conversion, which would have brought Diss within bonus point range, was missed.
Instead Basingstoke increased their lead as they scored again with the last play of the game.
Tring's bonus point victory against Sutton & Epsom moved them above Diss in the table, although the three teams below the Blues all lost.