LONDON TWO NORTH
Diss Rugby Club climbed back to the top of the table after overcoming a lacklustre start to beat visiting Campion 41-15.
In their first league match of the new year, the hosts got off to a disastrous start as Campion, who came into the encounter second bottom, broke the deadlock after four minutes.
Following prolonged pressure in the corner, Alfie Hill bundled over. Rory Crisp failed to add the extras leaving the visitors with a 5-0 lead.
Sean McClure reduced the deficit with a penalty shortly after but the hosts were punished for more lacklustre defending after 16 minutes as Luke Tilly crashed over. This time Crisp added the conversion to leave his side 12-3 ahead.
Diss then avoided falling further behind after half an hour as Crisp failed with a simple looking penalty before the home side punished his poor kick with their first try of the afternoon six minutes later.
The impressive McClure received the ball before beating five defenders and racing clear to score. The full-back failed to add the extras, leaving Diss just four points adrift of their visitors.
That momentum continued and in the final moments of the first half the hosts found themselves ahead for the first time.
McClure’s running proved decisive again, as he beat four defenders down the left-hand side before offloading to George Gooderham to score under pressure. This time McClure was successful with the conversion to gift Diss a 15-12 lead at the interval.
The home side dominated the early stages of the second-half but wasted a period of prolonged pressure in which they found themselves encamped on the Campion try line with no fewer than four attempts at a push-over try.
And they were duly punished as the visitors levelled in the 65th minute with a simple penalty attempt from Crisp.
However, from then on Diss took control and soon found themselves ahead once again with another try after 68 minutes.
Again McClure proved Campion’s main tormentor as he ran through four challenges before releasing Joe Brock to score under pressure. McClure adding the conversion to see Diss 22-15 ahead.
That pressure continued with a flowing move involving Matt Richards and Paul Cayley resulting in the latter scoring an unconverted try before another lightning attack saw McClure release Phillip Leleivre to score again after 76 minutes.
This time McClure kicked the extras to gift the hosts a 34-15 lead.
Diss refused to rest on their laurels and with just moments remaining Diss capped off a devastating second-half display with one final try as Tim Groom finished off another free-flowing move, receiving the ball from Giles West before going over in the corner.
Fittingly man-of-the-match McClure had the final say, adding the conversion to wrap up victory.