South Woodham Ferrers 7
Diss Rugby Club climbed to second in the table following a fifth straight win as they overcame South Woodham Ferrers in a 19-7 success.
Conditions at Mackenders proved very difficult throughout, with a blizzard blowing for most of the match and a determined and gutsy opposition who were not going to take a backward step in any form.
South Woodham Ferrers certainly had the better of the early exchanges and drove deep into the Diss midfield at every opportunity, creating a number of clear phases from which to launch sustained pressure .
Following a series of fast rucks and some intelligent off -loads , visiting fly-half Adam Brown crashed over close to the Diss line to open the scoring.
Jack Reeve stepped up to convert and Diss found themselves on the back foot with 25 minutes played.
This reverse kick started the Diss offensive, with the forwards led by Fraser Hall advancing into the South Woodham Ferrers half with real purpose .
On 34 minutes, following excellent driving play from the Diss pack, Jack Peacock and Josh Ludkin combined to send the ever impressive Warren Wilby through to score .
Peacock stepped up to level the scores with half time quickly approaching.
Throughout this period the home front five had begun to assert real pressure on the South Woodham scrum but failed to make a further breakthrough as the sides went in level at the interval.
With the blizzard increasing in velocity, Diss stepped up the tempo and attacked through both forwards and backs alike.
While the conditions did not suit open rugby both sides consistently tried to open the game up when opportunities arose.
The third quarter of the game saw the hosts controlling possession and pressurising the Woodham line .
A lack of patience and precision rather halted the Diss momentum during this period and frustration began to set in.
However, following a number of forward advancing scrummages , Hall was able to drive over the line to score a well crafted try.
Peacock stepped up again to convert to increase the home side’s lead to 14-7 with a little over 18 minutes remaining in the game.
South Woodham Ferrers responded immediately and attacked deep into the Diss half.
Outstanding defence repelled this thrust and on 86 minutes from a deep clearance kick, Wilby gained possession and showed remarkable dexterity by flicking the ball between his legs to find Kieran Pask in space on the wing.
And with clear ground in front of him, Pask raced 25 metres to the line to score another try and wrap up proceedings.
The victory leaves Roger Coombs’ men just four points behind table-toppers Chelmsford.
n Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Diss Under-16s as they saw their hopes of clinching Norfolk Cup glory dashed as they suffered a 15-0 semi-final defeat to Holt.
n There was also further woe for the club as Diss Under-14s also missed the opportunity to challenge for honours as they were eliminated from the Norfolk Cup Plate semi-final following a 41-5 defeat to West Norfolk.