TWO NORTH EAST
Diss dropped to second place after being held to a high-scoring draw at Cantabrigian on Saturday.
Dave Smith’s side, who conceded a try late on to ensure the spoils were shared, are level on points with leaders Old Cooperians, but they have a greater points difference.
In a strong cross-wind, Diss started slowly for the first 15 minutes and were starved of possession and territory as the Cantabs’ mobile forwards drove and counter rucked very strongly.
As a result, the hosts were first on the scoreboard when a penalty flew between the posts.
However, Diss took the lead soon after when Steve Hipwell broke from the base of a maul and, going blind, beat two defenders to score the game’s opening try.
The wind played a key role in Sean McClure missing the conversion, but he atoned a little while late with a successful penalty,
Cantabs added another penalty, before Diss’ Phil LeLevrie exploited a game in the home side’s defence to dot down in the 30th minute, with McClure adding the extras.
Diss went even further in front thanks Alex Leeder, who took his chance from the base of a ruck to go on his own and score his team’s third try.
McClure was once again accurate with the boot, handing Diss a 22-6 lead heading into the break.
Despite their superiority, Diss struggled to control large periods of the second half – triggered by Cantabs scoring their first try of the contest early on.
Even so, it seemed that Diss were home and dry when they were awarded a penalty for high tackle on Ed Hudson, from which McClure scored.
But in the final 20 minutes Cantabs took the decision to run at every opportunity and after a series of back line attacks, they found themselves on the Diss 22 metre.
A penalty was eventually awarded to Cantabs, which was taken quickly and effectively as they scored their second try through several missed tackles from Diss.
As the clock ticked down Cantabs continued to apply the pressure and they were eventually rewarded late on with a try in the corner, although the conversion attempt — which would have won the game — was off target.
n Smith’s team are without a fixture this weekend as cup matches take centre stage.
Diss exited the competition last month when they conceded their game at Welwyn due to a spate of injuries.
They will return to league action on Saturday, November 19, when Woodfood will be the visitors to Mackenders (2.30pm).