Diss blow away league leaders to go joint top
LONDON TWO NORTH EAST: Diss RFC 57 Chelmsford 0
Diss completely shattered previous league leaders Chelmsford’s bubble with an emphatic victory to move them up to second place.
It was the second time they have dispatched of the division’s top side going into a fixture, with Saturday’s demolition their most impressive whitewash for a long time.
The opening engagements were in fact very even, with Chelmsford actually slightly dominating the early scrummage contests and possession.
But whenever Diss entered their opponents’ half they came away with the spoils.
On 14 minutes, Gus McGrath got the scoring under way, with a try following a sweeping backs move.
It was 11 minutes later that Josh Ludkin also combined with the three-quarters to score a very well-taken try and place Diss into a 10-0 lead.
The next score came on the half-hour-mark. Following superb retention of the ball by Ludkin, Matt Richards crashed over for try number three, this time converted by Jack Peacock.
Chelmsford attacked close to the Diss line and threatened with a number of five-metre scrums but, as has been the case recently, the Diss defence stood firm and repelled any threat to lead 17-0 at the break.
The Blues began the second half in dominant form and created a series of offloads between the forwards and backs, which tore the Chelmsford defence apart.
Warren Wilby scored a further try, converted by Jack Peacock, two minutes after the restart, securing a bonus point.
Five minutes later, Ludkin, who was without doubt having his best game of the season so far, scored his second try, converted by Adam Goymour.
Diss attacked from every phase, with Jamie Burroughs — at scrum-half — controlling and orchestrating wave after wave of thrusts, which ultimately led to Wilby scoring two further tries on 53 and 65 minutes, converted by Goymour and Jack Keppel respectively.
The attacking show was not over there though as Henry Passmore finished off a superb flowing move created by the raw power and pace of Peter Bray.
Goymour soon produced a wonderful long-range conversion to bring up the Diss half-century, and on 72 minutes Ludkin completed the total destruction of the falling league leaders with his third converted try of the afternoon.
* The Saracens ended up on the end of a 25-0 defeat at Hadleigh after travelling with just 13 men on Saturday, owing to first-team call-ups, several key players being unavailable and others dropping out with flu.
Hadleigh gave one of their substitutes to Diss, so the Eastern Counties Greene King Division Two North game was played with 14 men against the home side’s 15.
The Saracens came out looking strong in attack and defence, and looked very promising.
But the home side had a definite weight advantage in the scrum, which they made use of, along with their extra man, to get on the scoreboard first with a try out wide.
The Saracens were looking determined though, competing well all over the park, especially in the lineout where Matt Cullum consistently stole the Hadleigh ball.
Shortly before half-time Hadleigh again made use of their extra man to run another try in out wide, making the half-time score 10-0.
After the break the home side were evidently tiring more than the young Saracens outfit, and the Diss team looked promising.
But the Hadleigh defence proved to be just enough to halt the Diss attack crossing the line.
Good runs were made by centre Tom Miller and new winger Harry Harrison, while Stefan Coombes’ defensive efforts at full-back were sublime.
The blue side never gave up, despite second rows Mike Garnham and John Llewellyn both taking knocks.
Barnaby Chenery played well at fly-half and kicked very tactically to gain Diss a lot of territory.
But the extra man proved just too much of an advantage, and the home side ran in three more tries in the second half, despite a solid effort by the Saracens defence.
At the final whistle the score stood at 25-0 to the home side, which was a fair testament to the defensive efforts of the 13 Diss players.
* Four Diss rugby players — Chloe Williams, Lauren Harrison, Jess McLean-Wright and Poppy Felgate — were in the Eastern Counties under-15 team which beat Essex 29-10 at Diss.
All four are students at Hartismere School.
Morgan Dansie (Saffron Walden) scored two first-half tries, Alice Noble (Hadleigh High) one, with Lucy Williams (Colchester) landing one conversion to put Counties 17-5 up at the interval.
Hannah Harrison (Stowmarket) and Connie Powell (Sudbury) went over for second half tries, Williams adding one conversion.