TWO NORTH EAST
Romford & Gidea Park 10
Diss’ promotion bandwagon showed no signs of letting up on Saturday as they romped to a home victory over Romford & Gidea Park.
Not only did the win see Dave Smith’s side gain revenge against the only side to have beaten them this season, it also allowed them to stretch their lead at the summit to 10 points from South Woodham Ferrers.
Having taken an early lead following an infringement at a ruck, Diss soon found that Romford were initially not going to be a push over.
So much so, that within the first quarter Romford created and scored two very well taken tries from within their own half.
In the meantime, Diss allowed a sense of over confidence to develop, culminating in at least three scoring opportunities going astray.
On 24 minutes, Stephen Hipwell made a break through the heart of the Romford rearguard, allowing Freddie Precious to score the home side’s first try.
As the first half began to close, Diss started to create a higher level of continuity and cohesion, culminating in a well-executed try for Chris Beaird, following a silky break through the midfield from Jamie Burroughs.
A five-point lead at half-time just about reflected the pattern and quality of the half, although Diss would need to show more passion and a more structured plan following the break.
The hosts certainly reacted in a positive fashion from the outset in the second half.
Scrum-half Alex Leeder began to kick sensibly from the breakdown and the big Diss forward runners were now making an impact and punching holes into a struggling Romford defence.
Having retrieved the ball in his own half, Leeder found Sean McClure in open play and he glided into the opposition twenty two, feeding Giles West to dot down.
Within a minute, following a superb steal from John Laure, Leeder chipped again, allowing West to score his second try of the afternoon.
The influential Leeder scored a try for himself following another chip over the top, before West completed his hat-trick.
The Diss forwards now decided that they had a part to play, with Matt Richards scoring following a Hipwell break through a tired and weak defence.
As the game drew to its conclusion three more tries were scored by Beaird, Leeder and Hipwell.
n Tomorrow, Diss will travel to county rivals Norwich in the Norfolk Cup (1.30pm).
A number of senior players are expected to be rested for the encounter.
n On a very cold and muddy Sunday morning, Diss Colts exited the National Plate following a 29-7 defeat at the hands of Hadleigh.
The awful conditions were to play a decisive factor concerning how this game would be played, which did not suit the normal Diss running game.
After a slow start, the Diss pack got to grips as the game progressed and started to turn things around after an indifferent start.
With some clever understanding of rugby laws on lineouts, they managed to create confusion three times, thus denying Hadleigh the opportunity to form a rolling maul.
However, Hadleigh started to pile on the pressure, which resulted in a converted try to put them in front.
By half-time the game was still there to be won, with Diss trailing 14-7.
Charlie Hay scored the only Diss try, which was hard won against such a strong defence and Leeder converted.
In the second half, Diss started to tire and Hadleigh took full advantage as they stretched their lead further to progress to the next round.
n Diss Under-14s suffered a 22-12 defeat at the hands of their Colchester counterparts.
The Mackenders youngsters found themselves 17-0 down at one point, but they rallied after the restart with two tries from Harry Williamson.
However, it was not enough as the Essex side held out for victory.
The Under-14s head coach Mark Worley said: “All of the players deserve praise for their level of effort in difficult conditions.”