Domination up front is not enough
Tring 45, Diss 20: Diss were looking for a second double of the season but Tring maintained their recent run of good form with a powerful display by their back line. Both teams went into the match uncertain how many teams were to be relegated, so this was still a relegation dogfight for the fourth spot from bottom.
Diss were looking for a second double of the season but Tring maintained their recent run of good form with a powerful display by their back line.
Both teams went into the match uncertain how many teams were to be relegated, so this was still a relegation dogfight for the fourth spot from bottom.
The game was fast and furious from the kick-off, and within three minutes the Tring backs showed their power when their new No 10 Ben Selwyn cut through the Diss defence to score, converted by Tom Newton, who was successful with a penalty seven minutes later.
It was obvious that the Diss pack were dominant and within 10 minutes a sustained period of pressure led to a pushover try for Tim Groom. Unfortunately Chris Beaird did not have his kicking boots on, missing all his penalties and conversions.
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Slick Tring passing then put Tim Holgate through, again converted, but again the Diss pack responded and pushed over for Groom's second try. If it was all Diss up front, it was the Tring back line that was playing better rugby, and their No 10 beat the Diss tackling to score another try and together with two penalties it made the score 25-10 at half-time.
The second half started with the Diss pack in control, and Steve Hipwell broke off the back of the scrum to score in the corner.
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The Tring backs repeatedly attacked, with Beaird just covering a chip over, and Andy Thorpe being sent to the sideline for a high tackle, which led to a mass brawl.
The Diss pack then lost the ball, leaving the Tring No 10 to score under the posts, before Hipwell again broke from No 8 to score for the visitors. Two more penalties and a try from a clearly offside interception finished off the scoring.
Congratulations must go to both sides for a good game of rugby in the heat, with Tring guaranteeing safety.
Diss got the bonus point for scoring four tries, and when the news came through that nearest challengers North Walsham had lost, it meant that Diss were above them in the league. A win with a bonus point next week in the final fixture at home to bottom side Haywards Heath will guarantee National League rugby at Mackenders next season.