Magic McClure takes Diss back to the top
Sean McClure hailed Diss’ fighting spirit after his man-of-the-match display helped take the club back to the top of London Two North East.
In their first league encounter of the new year, Diss recovered from a lacklustre opening 20 minutes to overturn a 12-3 deficit to finally overcome their struggling visitors with a devastating second-half display.
And with title rivals Saffron Walden failing to clinch a bonus point victory against Ipswich, Diss’ victory was enough to send them back to the summit ahead of a mouth watering clash against their nearest rivals tomorrow (2pm).
“Campion started with a pretty big intensity and after a few early mistakes we were shell-shocked,” said McClure who scored 16 of Diss’ 41 points.
“However, we showed a great spirit to come back and the lads showed what they are all about.
“Despite their league position we knew it was going to be a tough fixture and they definitely showed that.
“It is always good to be able to have an impact and it’s great to get the second half of the season off with a win.
“That keeps the pressure on Saffron Walden for next week in what will be a huge game.
“That fighting spirit that we showed will be key for us and hopefully we can get a similar result.”
The hosts got off to a disastrous start as Campion, who came into the encounter second bottom, broke the deadlock after four minutes.
Following prolonged pressure in the corner, Alfie Hill bundled over. Rory Crisp failed to add the extras leaving the visitors with a 5-0 lead.
Sean McClure reduced the deficit with a penalty shortly after but the hosts were punished for more lacklustre defending after 16 minutes as Luke Tilly crashed over. This time Crisp added the conversion to leave his side 12-3 ahead.
Diss then avoided falling further behind after half an hour as Crisp failed with a simple looking penalty before the home side punished his poor kick with their first try of the afternoon six minutes later.
The impressive McClure received the ball before beating five defenders and racing clear to score. The full-back failed to add the extras, leaving Diss just four points adrift of their visitors.
That momentum continued and in the final moments of the first half the hosts found themselves ahead for the first time.
McClure’s running proved decisive again, as he beat four defenders before offloading to George Gooderham to score under pressure. This time McClure was successful with the conversion to gift Diss a 15-12 lead at the interval.
The home side dominated the early stages of the second-half but wasted a period of prolonged pressure in which they found themselves encamped on the Campion try line with no fewer than four attempts at a push-over try.
And they were duly punished as the visitors levelled in the 65th minute with a simple penalty attempt from Crisp.
However, from then on Diss took control and soon found themselves ahead once again with another try after 68 minutes.
Again McClure proved Campion’s main tormentor as he ran through four challenges before releasing Joe Brock to score under pressure. McClure adding the conversion to see Diss 22-15 ahead.
That pressure continued with a flowing move involving Matt Richards and Paul Cayley resulting in the latter scoring an unconverted try before another lightning attack saw McClure release Phillip Leleivre to score again after 76 minutes. This time McClure kicked the extras to gift the hosts a 34-15 lead.
Diss refused to rest on their laurels and with just moments remaining Diss capped off a devastating second-half display with one final try as Tim Groom finished off another free-flowing move, receiving the ball from Giles West before going over in the corner.
Fittingly man-of-the-match McClure had the final say, adding the conversion to wrap up victory.