London 1N: Diss 24, Chingford 6
Diss bounced back from a run of three straight defeats as they turned in a fine second half performance to see off Chingford and move up to fourth place in the London 1N table.
It was third time lucky for this fixture, which had been re-arranged twice due to the freezing weather.
Diss kicked off and immediately applied the pressure, with poor kicking from Chingford allowing the hosts to camp in their 22 for most of the first 15 minutes.
They scored from a catch and driven line-out deep inside opposition territory, Pete Bray looking up on the blind side and driving over for a try, hardly able to believe the lack of defence. Tom Holt missed the conversion.
Diss lost his brother Ricky to an ankle injury in the very next phase of play. After a brief reorganisation and a call to the substitutes' bench, the match continued with both sides unable to keep the ball. Possession changed hands too many times for either coaching staff to be pleased.
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The first half ended with a penalty to the visitors, duly converted by their fly half, who alongside the hooker and full back were excellent all match.
Following a 'Sharpe' talking to at half-time the home side returned to the pitch with a lot more purpose. Chingford were awarded a second penalty to take a one-point lead but this was to be the final time they bothered the home scorer.
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From a defensive scrum to Chingford in their 22, the ball shot out and Diss captain Matt Richards, playing No 6, was on hand to score in the corner. Tom Holt converted the wide out kick for the extra two points.
The Chingford pack were overwhelmed for the last 20 minutes as the Blues' No 8 took the game to them. Bray scored his second try, again from a catch and drive, and was unlucky not to get a hat-trick from an unsighted referee, who also missed the late punch on the nose he got instead. Holt converted.
Will Foote came off the bench, to the delight of older members of the crowd who remembered him in his heyday, and showed an evergreen attitude to the game.
Ali Abercrombie had the last word from another driven maul when he scored the final and bonus point try in the corner for a 24–6 win to the home side.