Saffron Walden 21 Diss 14: Poor second-half showing costs visitors
PUBLISHED: 08:24 19 March 2018
Playing on a Friday evening under newly installed floodlights added to the close nature of this bottom of the table clash.
Realistically Saffron Walden are the only side who can deny Diss London One status next season.
The game started with both sides trying to adapt to difficult underfoot conditions and the greasy nature of the ball.
Saffron Walden attacked the Diss line for a considerable period without any success.
The Diss defensive line held firm with Will Hudson and Matt Richards both making telling contributions.
Having lifted the siege, Alex Leeder then sent an accurate and decisive pass to Shaun Blyth who sped from well within his own half to score a superb individual try. Aaron Forest converted to give the visitors the ascendancy.
A series of needless penalties brought Saffron Walden back in the game and following direct pressure from an attacking lineout, Walden levelled the score on 26 minutes.
Diss responded immediately through the driving play of their eight.
Stephen Hipwell eventually forced himself over the line to yet again take the initiative. Aaron Forest stepping up to convert.
In many ways this should have been the springboard for a dominant performance from the South Norfolk side.
A speculative up and under from the Walden fly half was not collected accurately, thus allowing Walden to break through to level the scores as half time beckoned.
Unfortunately the second half proved to be a period of little or no attacking options from a Diss side that completely fell away from the game.
Matt Richards, John Bergin and Fraser Hall all strove to assert energy into the game but a wonderfully organised Walden defence snuffed out the big Diss runners time and time again.
Diss began to attack far too laterally making themselves easy targets for the Walden drift defence.
As the half developed it became quite apparent that only one scoring chance was going to secure victory late in the day.
Walden achieved this when a missed tackle, which allowed their fly half to waltz through a huge gap to secure a well-deserved and hard fought victory.
Diss’ ill-discipline and a lack of thrust and desire in the second half had cost the visitors the spoils.
Having established a positive foothold in the game early in the first half, this proved a disappointing result.
The only solace being a losing bonus point which may prove vital as the season draws to its conclusion.