Battling display pays off with last-gasp equaliser

HARD-FOUGHT DRAW: Diss Under-13s battled back to draw with Woodbridge at the weekend
HARD-FOUGHT DRAW: Diss Under-13s battled back to draw with Woodbridge at the weekend

After an early breakaway try by Woodbridge, Diss levelled through some strong teamwork, including an impressive drive from new recruit Liam ???? in his first game, and a final push and try by Santos Ledesma.

At this point, it looked like Diss would start to move through the gears and have the beating of the opposition.

Instead Woodbridge showed some strong, impressive tackling, and were strong in the rucks, winning a number of turnover balls, and running in another six tries.

This was a sobering lesson for the team, and reflected a need to be strong in the rucks and to pass down the line and play to strengths. During this period of play, Diss scored one try as Charlie North burst through in a powerful run to the line.

With a scoreline of 7-2 and only 10 minutes to play, it looked like Diss were only going to come away frustrated.

However coach Johnny Fell kept the faith and told the players they could win the game. The key was to stop trying individual runs through the middle and to pass the ball down the line, bringing the speed merchants into play.

The ball was won in a ruck, passed down the line, and Jaden Jonson was able to show his pace and go around the defence to score.

With more ball getting to the backs the game opened up and Charlie North ran through for an opportunist try.

This was followed by a good counter play that led to a forwards’ try, working as a pack, with North finishing off.

With the clock ticking down the Diss boys pushed forward, sensing they had the upper hand.

Woodbridge resorted to kicking to relieve pressure, but the Diss boys retrieved the ball and came straight back.

The pressure told as great distribution by the team allowed Jonson to run free going around the forlorn Woodbridge defence to score in the corner.

With two minutes remaining, it was all or nothing. The Diss boys roared each other on to a thrilling final push — Woodbridge kicking, Diss attacking.

And with the final play of the game, Jonson again burst free to score and level the match.

Man of the match was Connor Fell, who was all over the pitch, disrupting play with his trademark awesome tackles.

Stephen Chaoldson was also everywhere and received a notable mention, as did Jonson for ‘tackle of the match’ and great running with the ball. Every member of the team played hard.

A jubilant team left the pitch proud of their efforts.