A flurry of late tries from Diss saw Epping Upper Clapton relinquish a 14-12 half-time lead to lose 50-19 at home in London 2 North East.

George Douglass and Luke Neat both had tries converted by Reece Reed in the first half, while Alfie Reynolds provided a five-point score after the break. It was four late tries that really undid the hosts though, three of which were scored by Shaun Blyth while Ben McKercher added the last one late on.

Clapton were forced into changes as regulatory issues denied them the chance to blood more youngsters into the first team, and with the pre-season injury list still fairly lengthy, the side were forced into fielding players that ideally would have been given a few more weeks to get their fitness up to scratch.

However, this new combination of players were quick out of the blocks against a side that had thrashed Wanstead 31-3 in their opening game of the season. Their scrum was dominant in control and the pressure they were applying on set-pieces was causing havoc for the opposition.

This allowed the home side to register two tries before the break, firstly as Douglass rounded the Diss defence from a disruptive scrum and Luke Neat crossed the line after following up from a penalty kick.

Reed’s two conversions ensured that Clapton had a healthy 14 points on the board, but Diss had also breached the home side’s defence on a couple of occasions, and were only behind by way of a missed conversion after scoring two tries.

The game became far more disjointed as a number of head injuries took their toll on the sides, with committed challenges flying about on an unseasonably hard surface. Neat was one of the unfortunate members of the Clapton team that had to leave the field, while two of Diss’ players were also forced off.

Briefly, though, the reorganisations worked in Clapton’s favour as Reynolds crossed for their third try of the day, but Diss went on to run riot in the remains of the second period, exploiting the space that was being left by Clapton.

Blyth’s scoring ability along with the pace of Diss’ back three proved to be the hosts’ undoing, as the pacey full-back ran in three of his side’s late quadruple, while the other was added by McKercher to break the half-century.

Although a heavy defeat in the end, Clapton will know that their availability issues will soon be resolved, but also that they need to get off the mark in the league as soon as possible, starting this weekend away at Southwold who, like Diss, have started with two wins from two having beaten Ipswich and Wanstead.

Clapton also face Ipswich on October 5.