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Bath grind out foggy win

27 Mar 2005
Bath grind out foggy win

The first points were on the board after just 21 seconds. Bath seemed to be still waiting for the whistle to blow for the start of the game, when Newcastle won the kick-off, ran it down the line, and Tom May scooted victoriously over in the corner.

Bath switched on after that, and nearly had a try of their own, when Steve Booth was only denied by an acrobatic aerial intervention by Ollie Phillips.

May nearly grabbed a second after 22 minutes, but touch judge Brian Campsall saw a foot in touch that very few members of the crowd had seen, judging by the response to the decision.

Bath had the lion's share of the ball, but their continual reliance on ugly forward drives curtailed any chance they had of getting on the scoreboard quickly.

Referee Chris White – so outstanding in the Wales v Ireland match a week before – incensed the crowd still further when he gave a mystifying penalty for diving in against the Newcastle pack.

Malone converted the three-pointer to make the score 5-3 at the break.

As the driving rain slowly made way to fog in the second half, Bath kept on driving and driving with their eight-man game plan, much to the consternation of the home crowd.

It was effective though, and by the hour mark, a penalty and drop goal by Malone had put Bath 9-5 ahead.

Newcastle were thoroughly blunted, and their one lone chance fell to May, who fumbled the wet ball.

From then on, Bath were content to rumble out the game by driving and driving through the forwards, much to the fury of the crowd.

It was ugly, but effective, and Bath are now within touching distance of the Zurich Premiership play-off spot.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:Try: May

For Bath:Pens: Malone 2Drop goal: Malone

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Michael Stephenson, 14 Tom May, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Mark Mayerhofler, 11 Ollie Phillips, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Hall Charlton, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Cory Harris, 6 Mike McCarthy, 5 Stuart Grimes, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Galo Alvarez Quinones, 2 Andy Long, 1 Ian Peel (c)Replacements: 16 David Wilson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Matt Thompson, 19 Epi Taione, 20 Matt Burke, 21 James Grindal, 22 Mathew Tait

Bath: 15 Matt Perry, 14 Steve Booth, 13 Andy Williams, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Brendon Daniel, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Martyn Wood, 8 Zak Feaunati, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Gareth Delve, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Matt Stevens, Replacements: 16 Jonathan Humphreys, 17 David Barnes, 18 Geraint Lewis, 19 Rob Fidler, 20 Ramiro Pez, 21 Nick Walshe, 22 Pete Murchie

Kick-off: 14:30 GMTReferee: Chris WhiteTouch judges: Brian Campsall, Paul Emerson

For more news, try out Newcastle Falcons v Bath Rugby

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