LONDON 1 NORTH - Diss 3 Thurrock 10
Diss were out to avenge an early defeat to Thurrock at the start of the season while the visitors were eager to show their title credentials.
The hosts’ pack was tenacious from the off and Thurrock found it difficult to move, their strength being the ability of their three-quarters to run at speed.
Thurrock could not create the platforms necessary to allow the free-flowing rugby they are used to and Diss were awarded a number of penalties, one seeing the yellow-carding of the Thurrock number 8.
Deaglan Hall took advantage of the missing player, driving through the middle of the field, and once again another penalty was conceded and Beaird converted with aplomb.
There were no more scores in the first half as Thurrock were in no mood to let Diss add to their score.
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The Diss pack drove towards their larger Thurrock counterparts at the start of the second half, allowing Rickie Holt to give the ball out to Seward.
However, Diss’ expansive game has its weaknesses and only a quick turn of pace from Pete Bray stopped an opponent in his tracks.
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Mistakes by Diss also led to more nervous tension around the ground as Thurrock missed two penalty kicks.
As the game wore on and the minutes ticked by there was a belief amongst the crowd that Diss could win this by the narrowest of margins, but it was not to be.
Another strange decision by the official allowed the Thurrock wing to burst through passing inside for their number 4 to score with two minutes remaining.
With seconds to go Diss were encamped on the opposition try-line, and if they had used the same rolling maul skills seen earlier on in the game, instead of passing it out, it would have been a different result. But this was a game of what could have been, and with seconds remaining Thurrock scored the second and final try of the game.