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Diss taste 48-14 defeat to Amersham & Chiltern on return to action in London 1 North

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Diss returned to action in London 1 North after a two-week break but saw their survival hopes take another dent after losing 48-14 to Amersham & Chiltern on Saturday.

TOUGH CONTEST: Ali Brooks set up attacking positions at the weekend
TOUGH CONTEST: Ali Brooks set up attacking positions at the weekend

Head coach Dave Smith maintained the policy of playing a wealth of younger players across all the key positions, as the league’s bottom side took on an Amersham outfit sitting sixth in the table.

Having conceded an early penalty at the breakdown, Diss took control of possession for most of the first quarter.

Playing with a level of continuity through their forwards, the hosts put mid-table Amersham under intense pressure close to the line.

Matt Richards, Peter Bray, Sam Jacobs and captain John Bergin all drove close to the breakdown, eventually forcing the referee to award Diss a penalty try.

Diss then fell totally off their game for a 10-minute period, losing complete concentration which allowed the visitors to score three unanswered converted tries, scored by Steven Gibson, Michael Brothers and Dan Kingsley, and converted by Joe Butler.

The home side recovered on the cusp of half time by returning back to driving possession close to the breakdown, with George Easton, Cullam Roberts and Ali Brooks all setting up further attacking positions, from which the outstanding Richards scored a fully deserved second try.

George Jones stepped up to convert the try, as Diss went in at the break in a positive frame of mind.

The loss of Chris Beaird through injury during the first half certainly had an impact on the hosts, although Connor McBryde proved a more than capable replacement.

Amersham took the initiative early in the second half, scoring a bonus point try following driving play through their forwards.

Most of the third quarter was played outside both teams’ 22 metre lines, with the ever-improving Jones orchestrating attacking options for Joe Hegarty and Tom Miller, while Ben Brown defended and attacked with a growing confidence that belied his age and experience.

Further tries from Jake Cutter, Dave John and a second for Dan Kingsley came for Amersham as they exposed a tiring defence to reach the 48-point mark, while a try-scoring cutting edge eluded the brave and wholehearted hosts who deserved more for their efforts.

With seven games left of the league season, Diss (14th) travel to ninth-placed Southend Saxons tomorrow (3pm) still 20 points adrift of safety.

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