Late penalty earns Diss deserved win
Diss 27, Letchworth Garden City 24: This was a classic turnaround from a team that only last week was struggling to put any pattern of play into their game. In an edgy and exciting game, Diss were able to demonstrate once again that there is no team in this league that cannot be beaten, when they show this sort of form.
Letchworth began the game determined to show their position in the league was justified. Diss however had other ideas and within minutes of the kick-off were encamped on the visitors' try line.
With some decisive tackling and good old fashioned powerful mauling it wasn't long before Letchworth buckled as Abercrombie, whose game is going from strength to strength, broke through to score a well deserved try. The return of Chris Beaird from duties at University was a boost for the team as his conversion showed.
Letchworth were on the defensive consistently, but as in previous weeks, Diss lost their momentum with a number of handling errors, and Letchworth ran the ball the length of the field to level the scores.
Head coach Phil Sharpe has built into this team a sense of purpose, making some difficult decisions, and this is now beginning to show results.
Warren Wilby was just one example. Taking over at scrum-half he was a constant threat, counter attacking when the opportunity arose, defending with vigour and aggression and passing the ball out with a ferocity that gave Tom Holt time to try alternative attacking patterns.
The rhythm of the exchanges between backs and forwards had an almost razor sharp edge to it. Simon Cooper and Fraser Hall responded by taking on the Letchworth defence, continually backed up by the pack.
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Hall, breaking through his opposition centre, did well to ship the ball to Beaird who crossed over to score. Diss were able to close space effectively in all areas, with some excellent defensive tackling, but just before half-time, the opposition scored a penalty.
Diss started the second half in determined mood, with Peter Bray, in particular, proving to be a thorn in the side of the Letchworth defence. With the back row of Hall, Gowing and Fuller showing a great work rate it wasn't long before Diss scored a push-over try through Matt Richards after some expansive backs play and a dazzling run from Beaird.
There was a twist, with Letchworth scoring twice within three minutes to tie the scores. This however, was not a catalyst for collapse. Diss are made of sterner stuff and with a minute to go Beaird superbly converted a penalty to complete a well deserved victory.