SOUTH Woodham Ferrers suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 27-20 at London Two North East leaders Diss.
The defeat saw Woodham slip to fourth in the table.
But head coach Tony Woods was keen to remain upbeat.
“No other team in the league will go to Diss and secure two bonus points,” said Woods.
“We could have won too.
“All our conversions were on the try line and we had chances but I am proud of the boys and we’re still right up there with two games in hand”
Diss started quickly, with their big number eight breaking the line from the half way line to go all the way and slide to the left of the posts to secure an early 7-0 lead.
The game went end to end with both defences fronting up but Woodham failed to capitalise on two over laps in the first half before going in 17-5 down at half time.
Back row Ross Noakes bagged Woodham’s try before Diss extended their lead at the start of the second half.
However, Woodham began to fight back with Warren Duggan making five tries in five games before Adam Brown and Noakes also touched down to cut Diss’ lead to 22-20.
A handling error on the Diss try line then stopped Woodham taking the lead before the hosts replied with a try from a prop forward.
That made sure of another win for Diss but Woodham winger Duggan was encouraged by his side’s display.
“The boys showed just how good we are, we fronted up and battled with the pre season favourites for promotion,” said Duggan.
“I am loving my rugby right now, just like the rest of the boys and it’s shown with my try scoring run so long may it continue.”
Woodham are now nine points behind Diss with two games in hand and travel to ninth placed Ipswich this weekend.