Weekend round-up: Diss rugby suffer late heartbreak in play-offs
Diss Rugby Club missed out on promotion by the narrowest of margins after late drama at Mackenders saw Chiswick win the London Two North play-off 16-13.
After prop Matt Richards had the home crowd jumping for joy with a pushover try for 13-13 four minutes into stoppage time, Jamie Burrough’s missed conversion proved to be pivotal.
The extra-time which seemed to be looming was only averted when Diss conceded a penalty around 30 metres out two minutes later, from which Simon Hallett broke home hearts by dispatching to win the game and promotion.
In front of a crowd of around 500, Diss had taken the lead through an early Burroughs penalty that was levelled by Hallet.
Dan Godfrey’s converted try put the visitors 10-3 ahead before John Laurie powered through to reduce the deficit to 10-8 at the break.
The game became a war of attrition in the second half with only a Hallet penalty adding to the scoreboard until the late drama.
But in truth it was Diss’ own mistakes on the day which cost them a straight return back up to London One North.
In the football, relegated Diss Town moved off the bottom of The Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table in their penultimate game with a 1-0 win at Haverhill Rovers, their first win in five.
Debenham LC ended their First Division campaign in seventh after a 1-0 home win over eighth place March Town United.
In the Skybet Championship, Norwich City’s automatic promotion hopes will hang on bettering Bournemouth’s and Middlesbrough’s results on the final day after an 86th minute equaliser from Jordan Bowery at relegation-threatened Rohterham United cost them two points.
City played 65 minutes with 10 men after Lewis Grabban had been sent off, but had taken the lead through Gary Hooper’s 56th minute strike.
Only a swing in goal difference can prevent Ipswich Town getting into the play-offs after a 2-1 home win over Nottingham Forrest.
Daryl Murphy put the Tractor Boys into the lead in the 25th minute, with Freddie Sears’ 83rd minute strike winning the game after a Christophe Berra own goal.