DIVISION ONE NORTH
Diss were within touching distance of their hosts on Saturday as the match entered its closing stages, but they ended up losing by a 24-point margin in Essex.
Hosting Colchester hit the ground running when they scored a converted try after only two minutes of play.
Moving the ball wide at every opportunity, Colchester were intent on stretching the Diss defence with a brand of pace and slick handling skills.
To the credit of the visitors, they responded positively to this threat and soon settled into a solid pattern of defence and resolution.
Diss began to drive the ball deeper into the Colchester half as they established a foothold in the game.
The Diss forwards were certainly more than a match for the Colchester eight with Stephen Hipwell, John Laurie and John Bergin all making valuable ground in an effort to establish parity.
However, some poor Diss tackling allowed Colchester a second converted try as the last 10 minutes of the half approached.
But Diss were soon back in business when a series of close-quarter drives sent Laurie over the line to bring Diss back into the game.
Dave Smith’s men immediately attacked on the stroke of half-time with Todd Wishart seemingly scoring close to the Colchester posts, only for the try be disallowed for an infringement.
Colchester then seized possession and moved the ball swiftly through their back division to score on the half-time whistle, meaning they held a 19-7 lead at the interval.
Colchester attacked from the restart and yet again Diss were forced to defend very much on the back foot, though an admirable level of composure and leadership from the away side’s senior players thwarted the home team’s onslaught.
An interception from Kieran Pask at last allowed Diss to attack from within the Colchester half. Chris Beaird, now moved to scrum half, was instrumental in driving close to the Colchester line.
Support from Laurie, Hipwell and Matt Richards eventually sent Wishart over the line, with Pask converting to give Diss the opportunity to not only secure a bonus point but also challenge for victory.
Yet, the most defining difference between the two sides was the pace they possessed.
In the last 10 minutes, Colchester were able to release their back division, who scored three tries to seal a deserved home win.
Nevertheless, as they continue to adapt to life at a higher level, Diss will have taken a huge amount from the game that will benefit them in future battles.
n The Blues play host to Brentwood at Mackenders tomorrow (3pm).