LONDON LEAGUE TWO NORTH EAST: Diss 27 South Woodham Ferrers 20
Not for the first time this season it was a case of the result being more important than the performance as Diss carved out a home victory over South Woodham Ferrers on Saturday.
Head coach Dave Smith will be the first to admit that his side must improve — particularly in possession of the ball — over the coming weeks, yet he is bound to be content after this bonus-point triumph kept Diss two points clear at the top of the table.
Ferrers headed to Mackenders having won all four of their outings this season, but they were on the back foot as early as the second minute.
The visiting rearguard inexplicably parted, leaving space for Diss’ experienced number eight Steve Hipwell to burst through and score just wide of the posts, followed by Sean McClure comfortably adding the extras.
However, any home fans anticipating a rout would be left disappointed as slick passing moves made way for large spells of disjointed rugby.
Ferrers got themselves back in contention in the 31st minute with an unconverted try in the corner by Ross Noaks, although it was Diss that took a relatively commanding 17-5 lead into the interval.
McClure was accurate with a penalty and a conversion — the latter coming after a mistake from Ferrers had presented an alert Alex Leeder with the chance to dot down under the posts.
Leeder was again on the scoresheet less than 60 seconds after the restart, with McClure for once off target with the conversion.
The remainder of the half belonged to Ferrers, who capitalsied on some slack play by the home team to run in three tries, with Matt Richards replying in the 65th minute to keep the Blues just in the ascendancy come the final whistle.
As they made the trip back to Essex, Ferrers will have been left to reflect on the fact that none of their four tries were converted, which ultimately proved to be the difference.
Diss: Leeder, Precious, Le Lievre, Hall, West, McClure, Burroughs; Groom, Hudson, Richards, Abercrombie, Page, Latu, Waddingham, Hipwell