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Diss drop to second in London 2 North East following derby defeat to Wymondham

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Hosting Wymondham secured the local bragging rights on Saturday with a first-half performance that totally burst Diss’ early-season bubble – the hosts eventually winning the derby 40-29 .

The travelling Blues had headed into the London 2 North East contest sitting top of the table, but their first defeat of the campaign has dropped them down a place to second.

An early infringement in midfield allowed Wymondham a penalty to take the lead.

Rugby action from Diss v Saffron Walden..Chris Beaird scoring a try..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (18844594)
Rugby action from Diss v Saffron Walden..Chris Beaird scoring a try..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (18844594)

Poor defensive alignment in midfield from the Diss three-quarters gave the home side space from which to score an opening try wide on the right.

The response from Diss was positive as Chris Kent drove through the heart of the Wymondham defensive line, feeding Chris Beaird, who for the second week running crashed his way over the line from well within his own half and he converted his own try.

However, two further penalties allowed Wymondham a little breathing space in a frenetic first quarter.

For the first time this season, Diss then lost structure, allowing the home side to score three unanswered tries.

Poor defence and an inability to secure and retain possession gave a rampant Wymondham a totally justified half-time lead.

Nick Greenhall’s team found themselves under intense pressure ahead of the second half getting under way, staring down the barrel of a very heavy defeat.

An improved defensive effort and precision with basic handling skills was severely needed in order for the visitors to regain some sort of pride.

Diss now controlled possession from most facets of first-phase possession, enabling their three-quarters to test Wymondham defensively for the first time in the game.

Cutu Serruys and Shaun Blythe found themselves in space and were beginning to cut very threatening lines of attack – the latter duly opening his account following a Diss five-metre scrummage

The Diss forwards then found momentum with the ever-present Nick Garnham and captain John Bergin leading from the front.

Will Waddingham also began to find space from which to carry the ball. Ben McKercher had now moved to 10 and was beginning to control affairs from a constant supply of quality possession.

Meanwhile, Alex Lefebre began to punch holes through the Wymondham midfield, giving the side front-foot ball as the game approached its final quarter.

McKercher danced through to score and convert his own try to give Diss a sniff of pulling off a remarkable turn-around.

Following good approach work from Matt Richards and Fraser Hall, Serruys scored from wide on the right to bring the visitors within 11 points, but with Beaird off the field injured, Diss found themselves short of a place kicker and this proved decisive throughout the game.

Clear scoring chances now manifested themselves for Diss, yet on at least two occasions chances were missed.

Eventually the forwards took a grip on affairs with Rob Silcocks scoring close to the touchline, but that was the end of the action as Wymondham held out for the victory.

Diss are without a fixture this weekend, with their return to action scheduled for October 19 at home to Norwich (3pm).

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