Diss stay on course for title after handsome away win
- Credit: Archant
Diss recorded an emphatic away win to keep their promotion bid firmly on track.
Woodford have been strong at home all season, having only lost one game before the weekend, but a confident Diss side turned in a strong display to stay five points ahead of their only title rivals South Woodham Ferrers with just three games to play.
Woodford scored an early unconverted try, but the visitors responded with a quick penalty from Sean McClure and, following good phase play, an unconverted try from Steve Hipwell.
A home penalty levelled the scores but that was as close as it got, with a well-executed converted try from McClure and a touchdown from Alex Leeder after an excellent kick from Phil LeLievre – which came either side of a Woodford penalty – making the score 22-11.
After a further penalty from McClure, Diss produced the try of the match. After a solid lineout win, Hipwell gave a lovely switch to Jamie Burroughs who straightened through the defensive line, and in turn drew the last man to feed Warren Wilby, on the inside, to score the bonus point try under the posts.
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After the break Woodford closed the gap to 32-14, but once again Diss responded well and a mazy run from Hipwell and offload to John Laurie gave Diss their fifth try of the match.
Continuous infringements by Diss gave the referee no option but to yellow card Matt Richards and Woodford scored their second try of the game to reduce the arrears.
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The ability of Diss to see space and attack it from all areas of the pitch, and the confidence to offload in the tackle, meant that 20 minutes into the second half the game really opened up. During this period five turnovers resulted in five tries. Laurie scored the first with Hipwell, Chris Beaird, Lelievre and Beaird again completing the scoring.
Overall Diss played with good tempo which Woodford struggled to cope with. Their ability to continually offload and quickly recycle the ball caused havoc all day for the home side and Diss left south Essex as worthy winners.
Three more wins – at home to Campion and Rochford Hundred and away to Norwich – would guarantee top place for Diss and that will be their target, even though they could probably afford to lose one game and still go up.