Rugby Union: Bury 15, Diss 15
Bury moved up to third in London 2 North, while Diss maintained second spot after this hard-fought local derby. Bury welcomed back new dad Blackwell to the front row, and Chennel was finally released by the Army to represent his club.
Bury 15, Diss 15
Bury moved up to third in London 2 North, while Diss maintained second spot after this hard-fought local derby. Bury welcomed back new dad Blackwell to the front row, and Chennel was finally released by the Army to represent his club. Both teams started brightly, and in the third minute the Diss midfield were caught offside 30 yards out.
Beukies, who has been Mr Reliable in the kicking role this season, missed this and a subsequent kick from the same spot. The Bury pack had started really strongly against the much vaunted opposition, with the newcomer Rebdale and Cross adding valuable weight to the home team.
Diss then made good ground, and with the Bury defence being caught offside, the visitors' captain Williamson kicked a straightforward penalty to take the lead. Bury replied with a penalty from Beukies to level the score.
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The Diss flanker was sin-binned for repeated infringements, but this seemed to galvanise the visitors, who finally gained parity with the home pack, and a hopeful chip to the flank bounced, eluded two Bury defenders and was pounced on gratefully by Diss winger Wilby, who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed and a Beukies penalty for Bury reduced the margin of deficit to two points at half-time.
The second half saw the home team in the ascendancy, monopolising possession and moving the ball wide, but without the usual cutting edge the backs have shown this season. However, Diss fought back, drove upfield, and the Bury No8, the influential Cross, was shown the yellow card for slowing the ball. From the resulting lineout the visitors produced their trademark catch and drive to score, converted by Williamson to give Diss a 15-6 lead.
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Bury then continued to press and produced their best rugby of the game, almost constant possession being used by Chennel to test the Diss defence, which performed heroically. The best chances fell out wide, but veteran prop Blackwell, fed by James, was unable to outstrip the opposition. Diss continued to concede penalties, and Beukies kicked three penalty attempts, narrowly failing with two more, and the last kick fell deep in injury time to level the game.
It was probably a fair result, and honours remain even between the local rivals , with one win each and a draw this season. Both teams will look to the second half of the season with optimism, and whilst league leaders Staines look assured, a runners-up spot could be possible for either Bury or Diss.