Diss rule the roost after derby triumph
North Walsham 13, Diss 26: Diss gave their sizeable army of travelling fans the perfect Christmas present by reinforcing their claim to being the premier club in Norfolk in a pulsating and often brutal Scottow derby.
They won by four tries to one to push themselves up to fourth in London One North – and the Vikings back into the relegation zone.
On his 100th appearance, Leon Davies led out Walsham at a damp but windless Scottow.
In the first ten minutes Diss stuck to their game plan with a mix of backs and forward play that had the home side on the back foot.
But North Walsham, having played at this level for some time, knew that an opportunity would come their way, and so it was in the 16th minute.
You may also want to watch:
A mistake in the middle of the park allowed them to kick through, the resultant m�l�e allowed the Walsham pack to drive over for No 8 Andy Tibbatts to score a well-worked try, converted, left footed, by full-back David Treglown.
Walsham, however, made the same mistake that Bury had made the week earlier, seemingly thinking that Diss are one dimensional, and would come at them with the forwards trying to muscle their way through.
- 1 Norwich hairdresser, former boxer and bodybuilder, dies from Covid
- 2 Yellow weather warning for snow in place across region
- 3 Drink driver arrested after crashing into two trees in Norwich
- 4 Jack-knifed lorry shuts A148 as police issue ice warning
- 5 Norwich Debenhams looks doomed as Boohoo to buy brand
- 6 The secrets and scandals of a former Norwich hotel
- 7 Crash boy's mum says he's 'badly shaken but OK'
- 8 Up and coming Norwich musician reaches number 13 in UK charts
- 9 ‘I cried so much’ - Mum-of-four on impact of whole family having Covid
- 10 Atlantis Tower up for sale after owner signs ‘outrageous’ loan deal
Phil Sharpe has instilled in the Diss players a belief that they can score from any position, and so it was with their first try.
Peter Bray, who is going from strength to strength with every game, picked up a loose ball and drove through the Walsham pack. Andrew Horne acting as scrum half, laid off to Deaglan Hall and in a move reminiscent of the New Zealanders, passed the ball inside to Wishart who with a lovely sleight of hand passed outside for Tom Holt to score under the posts.
Warren Wilby, having earlier seen a penalty attempt rebound off the left upright, converted.
Walsham restored their lead when a catch and drive, followed by interplay between Henry Dewing and Chris Borrett, ended with Dewing dropping a goal from short range.
From that moment on, however, Diss played with a growing self-belief, nobody more so than Andrew Horne.
He was the driving force behind their second try. Taking the ball at speed from Wilby, he tore through the Walsham defence and slipped the ball to Chris Craven, who took the ball down the wing before passing inside for Warren Wilby to break through a number of strong tackles to score under the posts, before converting.
The Vikings, for their part, were now retaining possession better, but Treglown was unable to close the gap, missing a penalty just before the interval, leaving the visitors ahead 14-10 after a pulsating first half.
Soon after the restart, Treglown saw a further penalty rebound from the left upright and Dewing had another drop goal attempt charged down before Treglown was successful with a penalty to narrow the scores to 13-14.
North Walsham tried to play an expansive game, but the Diss cover defence was superb, the Diss counter attack was even better. And so it proved with the Diss third try.
The Walsham backs, trying to halt Fraser Hall at centre, left a lovely gap for his younger sibling Deaglan to break through, and as usual, the support was breath-taking in its speed and strength.
Matt Richards took the ball to the Walsham try line and, from the resulting maul, Zac Seward threw a lovely dummy to score under the posts, Wilby converting.
The remainder of the game was a battle royal, with both sides contributing to a raw spectacle of open rugby.
The final try came when Chris Craven powered down the wing before flinging the ball inside for Wilby to score in the corner.