Diss round off triumphant campaign with entertaining win

Diss players and officials celebrate a season to remember after their final league game. Picture: Di

Diss players and officials celebrate a season to remember after their final league game. Picture: Diss RFC - Credit: Archant

Diss ended a triumphant campaign in style with a victory that kept their three-year unbeaten home record intact.

With promotion assured the hosts did not have things all their own way, with the spirited visitors doing their utmost to make a game of it.

Diss went ahead with an unconverted try in the third minute when John Laurie went over after good work from Chris Beaird and Phil Lelievre.

Rochford responded in excellent fashion, with Matt Pickering going over twice to make it 5-12, but the hosts soon got back on level terms as Steve Hipwell picked up a scrum before finding Giles West who went over for a try which was converted by Sean McClure.

Then a lineout, which functioned well all afternoon, was won and Matt Richards burrowed his way through to get on the scoresheet with another converted try. The end-to-end action continued with Lelievre scoring a well-worked try after a break from McClure which was mmediately followed by a try from Rochford full-back Mark Billings.

Diss had the final say in the first half through a great try from Beaird, set up and converted by McClure, to make it 33-17.

Diss stretched their lead with probably the try of the match as McClure off-loaded to Warren Wilby who timed his pass beautifully to Lelievre to go over his second try, which McClure converted.

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Rochford were not done yet and scored two tries of their own to reduce the arrears to 40-29, but then Diss took over again. Wilby was next on the scoresheet as Lelievre cut through the Rochford defence with sublime footwork to give him the finishing pass and McClure adding another conversion. Rochford replied immediately and the action continued apace as Alex Leeder took a quick penalty in midfield to set Laurie off on a destructive run through the middle, eventually finding Todd Wishart in support who took his opportunity to score.

Hipwell, who had an outstanding game, got in on the action from the last scrum of the game with a pick and go from the base, beating three defenders to score wide.

It was a breathless finish to a fine game of rugby and left Diss 15 points clear at the top of the table.

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