Play-off hopes ended after defeat to rivals

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LONDON LEAGUE

DIVISION TWO

NORTH EAST

Holt 13

Diss 0

Since the turn of the New Year, Diss have failed on five separate occasions to record victories away from home, thus relinquishing any hope of promotion this year.

Holt proved that when you possess a positive mind set and do not take a backward step in defence, controlling the game becomes a much easier prospect.

The hosts took an early lead from a well-taken penalty, following a Diss infringement close to a defensive ruck.

Roger Coombs’ men created two clear chances close to the Holt line, but a lack of discipline and technique allowed the home side to repel any serious threat.

It has to be said that the quality of play in the first-half left a lot to be desired, with the referee’s whistle dominating affairs, combined with a huge error count from both sides.

Diss certainly retained enough possession from which to attack, but the Holt back row were already beginning to show that halting the powerful running of John Laurie and Kimi Latu was always going to be a top priority.

As half-time approached, the game was calling out for one side to take the initiative and grasp some sort of cohesion.

Unfortunately, the visitors failed to lift the malaise and on 45 minutes, following the award of a penalty close to the Diss line, the whole team switched off, presuming that a penalty was going to be taken.

The Holt hooker took a quick and intelligent tap penalty to score at the foot of the posts to put the home side further in front.

Diss now found themselves chasing the game yet again, but they certainly had a greater share of possession in the second-half, and through Sean McClure and Philip LeLievre, came close to scoring.

However, a lack of precision and self-discipline totally nullified the development of any cohesive patterns of play.

Jamie Burroughs, Chris Craven and Giles West manfully tried to lift the Diss offensive strategy but yet again, all too often, play broke down way behind the tackle line, due to a superb defensive rear guard from the entire Holt side.

A lack of discipline and a disjointed game plan played into the hands of the home side, who sealed their deserved victory with a further penalty to put the visitors out of their misery.

The defeat for Diss, coupled with Sudbury’s 33-12 win away at Norwich, means Coombs’ side can no longer finish in the play-offs this season.

Sudbury are now 10 points clear of third-place Diss, who end their London League Division Two North East campaign by hosting Ipswich at Mackenders tomorrow (3pm).

n Diss III slipped to third in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League Division Three North table after a 26-17 defeat at Norwich Union.

The team finish their league campaign for 2015-16 with a home clash against league leaders North Walsham II tomorrow (3pm).