Blues lose last league game at home to relegated team
DIVISION ONE NORTH
South Woodham Ferrers 35
Diss’ first campaign back in Division One North ended on a sour note as they lost a high-scoring contest at home to South Woodham Ferrers on Saturday.
The Blues would have earmarked the contest at Mackenders as one that was winnable, given that their opponents had already been relegated and had also not tasted victory in the league since September 30.
Diss were also triumphant in the reverse fixture on the opening day, running out winners by an 18-8 margin.
However, Diss seemed to play without any real structure and pattern and South Woodham — determined to end what has been a disappointing season on a high note — took advantage of those shortcomings.
The hosts’ inability to structure phases of play meant that the visitors were able to play a free flowing game that allowed their fast three quarters the opportunity to structure a number of excellent tries out wide.
Nevertheless, it was Diss that opened the scoring through a Connor McBryde try following good work from the combination of Shaq Myers and Aaron Forest.
South Woodham responded immediately, though, scoring after Diss surprisingly lost the ball against the head in their own 22.
Back up the other end, Shaun Blyth scored a second try as the half-time whistle approached, but poor discipline proved a major problem all afternoon for the home side, with South Woodham securing a further three points just before the break.
Following the resumption Diss asserted further pressure on the South Woodham line, scoring two tries through Blyth and Chris Beaird.
This should have been the springboard for even more scoring opportunities going forward, yet South Woodham — promoted alongside champions Diss last season — had not read the script and played with a growing confidence that ripped the heart out of the Diss gameplan.
A combination of ill-discipline and naivety meant that South Woodham scored four unanswered tries as the second half progressed to secure a well-deserved victory by a margin of five points.
The loss — Diss’ 18th of the campaign and their third in a row — saw them end the season in 11th place (of 14) on 47 points and one position clear of the relegation zone.
They racked up a total of six victories over the course of the season, scoring 598 points and conceding 931.
• Diss Saracens suffered a 47-29 defeat at the hands of a strong Cambridge III side on Saturday.