Walsham maintain their dominance of derby clash
Diss 12, North Walsham 19: North Walsham maintained their recent dominance of their local rivals, leaving the Diss coaching team to look at went wrong with a side that had confidently defeated Hammersmith and Fulham the week before.
In an evenly contested game Diss proved to be the more naive, the penalty count against them reflecting their lack of composure against a more experienced Walsham pack.
Within four minutes of starting Walsham went ahead from a Dewing penalty. With a number of Diss infringements happening in the loose, it wasn't long before Walsham were awarded their second penalty, so setting a pattern for the rest of the game.
To their credit Diss responded by counter-attacking, Warren Wilby in particular, running straight at the Walsham backs, causing some problems for their defence.
It wasn't long before this pressure enabled Diss to level the score with a penalty kick from Beaird. This was possibly the best 20 minutes of the game for Diss, and with Beaird kicking well it wasn't long before they took the lead from another penalty.
With backs and forwards linking well the Hall brothers forged ahead with a linking run, resulting in a scrummage on the Walsham line.The Diss crowd, sensing a try, were disappointed when a penalty was awarded – this was probably the closest the pack came to scoring in their only purple patch.
With both sides counter attacking it wasn't long before there was another score, and it was the home supporters who were disappointed. From a five metre scrummage Walsham winger Elder Grobbelaar went over.
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Diss, still showing some spirit counter-attacked again and this resulted in another penalty, again converted by Beaird.
At this point most of the crowd had decided that half-time refreshment was required, only to be halted in their tracks by a controversial Walsham try seconds before the half-time whistle.
Following a centre break, and with full back Jack Dove in the line, Grobbelaar scored his second try, taking the half-time tally to 9-13.
Within five minutes of the restart Diss had to make a number of changes, John Llewellyn coming on for Paul Cayley and Josh Williams taking to the field because of an injury to Fraser Hall.
The second half did not prove to be as enthralling as the first, the penalty count going against Diss by two to one.
Diss will have to make pressure count in this league by showing the ruthless streak displayed against their previous opponents, and, once again older Walsham heads gave an edge in this encounter. The players will know they are going to have to step up to the mark against a strong Colchester side.
nNorth Walsham Raiders began their first season in the Norfolk Merit Table with a convincing 42-5 win over Crusaders II.
Although for once there was a surfeit of players, selection for the starting line-up was made difficult because there was a major imbalance between forwards and backs.
As a result the game started with hooker Dan Goodrich and back rower Tom Williams in the centre.
Up front, communication problems and late work commitments robbed the front row of their scheduled props but Seb Roberts and Will Love filled the berths.
Seb, who had not propped since his days as a junior, did especially well and is determined to work on his technique and fitness.
The first half was pretty well balanced and the Raiders' half-time lead of 6-5 gave no hint of what was to come.
Outside half Alex Lampert slotted a couple of penalties in the first quarter to give Walsham a narrow advantage.
After the break it was a different story with tries coming a regular intervals, scored by Roberts (2), Williams Adam Dye, Dean Blyth and Karl Tizzard.