Woodford boost London 1 North survival hopes with 29-12 win over Diss while Eton Manor and Chingford see games called off

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Picture: Mark Soanes Picture: Mark Soanes

Woodford took full advantage of other teams’ matches being called off due to the weather by beating fellow strugglers Diss 29-12 in London 1 North on Saturday.

The only match to go ahead was between high-flyers Ruislip and Luton, meaning Woodford were able to improve their position in the battle for survival.

The Woodford Green club are now 11th in the 14-team division, 13 points ahead of Tabard immediately below them and 15 points clear of Diss, who remain second from bottom.

In the return fixture in October, Diss had thumped Woodford 41-13 but Saturday’s match was a different contest.

The wet weather had certainly made the conditions on the Diss pitch difficult with some areas of the surface barely playable.

The visitors started the stronger side and piled the pressure on their opponents, who couldn’t handle Woodford’s pace and power.

Two early tries and a successful penalty kick thrust the away side into a 15-0 lead after just ten minutes.

Diss did gradually grow into the game though, and as their opponents relaxed slightly, the home side reduced the deficit with a try of their own out wide on the left.

The rest of the half was an even contest as both teams looked to establish control of a scrappy match.

When the next score did arrive, it belonged to Woodford who added another seven points after capitalising on an interception to lead 22-5 at half-time.

Diss came out fighting in the second period and caught the visitors unawares with renewed aggression and quick ball.

Soon the home side pulled themselves back into the match again with a second try, which was converted to make the score 22-12.

The try gave Diss hope but Woodford were determined not to let their winning position slip and they restored their dominance with a sustained spell of possession in their opponents’ half.

Diss had a handful of chances on the break to set up a nervy finale but handling errors let them down and Woodford sealed the win with a fourth try, which was also converted.

Woodford are away on Saturday at Luton, who are third in the table after thrashing Ruislip 39-0 last time out.

Second-placed Eton Manor will be hoping to keep up the pressure on league leaders Westcliff with with a win at home to Romford & Gidea Park on Saturday.

Manor will be hoping local rivals Chingford can do them a favour too as they take on Westcliff away from home.

Chingford are currently fifth in the table and 16 points off the top of the table.

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