Young Blues show character to triumph in the Shield contest
Diss Under-14s returned from the Colchester Festival with some silverware to show for their efforts.
The festival, which was organised into two competitions, pitted some of the best teams in the region against each other.
Diss were placed in the top group, up against sides that they had never previously faced before.
And they were presented with a tough start against hosting Colchester A, who ended up scoring in the fifth, eighth and 10th minute to seal a 17-0 victory.
Two early tries saw Braintree get the better of the young Blues next time out, before they faced a Bury A side who had previously beaten Colchester in a friendly.
It looked to be a tall order, but Diss took command early on when winger Finlay Martin crashed over to dot down.
After that it was all about Diss’ defensive line as they repelled everything Bury chucked at them to seal a 5-0 win.
Diss were unable to follow that success up in the final pool fixture against Ipswich, losing out to a fifth-minute try.
It meant Diss would need to beat Ipswich YM in a knockout fixture to determine which of them advanced through to the Shield final.
An offence in front of the posts presented Diss’ Ben Waters the chance to break the deadlock and he duly obliged by sending the resultant penalty between the posts.
And the victory was made safe almost straight from the start after Martin inherited possession and raided down the wing to score.
Martin also went on to be the hero in the final, which saw Diss up against Braintree for the second time in the tournament.
They lost the first time, but this time it was different as Martin scored two tries to go alongside an opener from Joe Jermy, sealing a convincing 21-0 and the trophy.
• Diss’ first team were beaten in their penultimate game of the London League Division One North season, going down 65-22 at Amersham and Chiltern.
Despite missing a number of key players, Diss took the lead early on when Stephen Hipwell held up possession for Tim Miller, who in turn released Joe Brock to sprint over the try line from well outside the home team’s 22.
However, that was to be Diss’ only points of the first half as Amersham responded emphatically, eventually going into the break 29-5 in front.
Hipwell ran in a couple of tries during the second half, while Shaun Blyth also got in on the act for the bonus point, but up the other end the hosts ran in tries at regular intervals to secure a comfortable win.
Eleventh-placed Diss are set to end their campaign tomorrow when already-relegated South Woodham Ferrers will be their visitors to Mackenders (3pm).