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Bath Rugby 31 Sale Sharks 10

29 Sep 2012
Bath Rugby 31 Sale Sharks 10

Olly Barkley capped off his final match for Bath Rugby with a 31-10 win as Gary Gold’s side handed Sale Sharks a fifth straight Aviva Premiership defeat.

The 30-year-old, starting at fly-half, will depart for Racing Metro as a medical joker, but was on good kicking form as he racked up 16 points against the Sharks.

Second-half tries from David Wilson, Stuart Hooper, as well as a penalty try, were enough for Bath to get back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats to Northampton Saints and London Irish.

Sale, for whom Nick Macleod started at fly-half ahead of Danny Cipriani, managed a single penalty, in addition to Johnny Leota’s try, as they still search for a first win of the campaign.

It was the visitors who had the first chance of three points from just inside the Bath half but Macleod missed the shot at goal.

Bath hit back with a penalty from Barkley and the departing fly-half added another three-pointer two minutes later to stretch the home side’s lead to 6-0.

It took the Sharks until the 15th minute to get on the board when Macleod made no mistake from 22 metres out.

However in an edgy first half it was the home side who were just on top and Barkley added another three points just before the half-hour to make it 9-3.

And he was at it again almost immediately as Sale’s discipline let them down to make it 12-3.

Things were going badly for Sale and it got even worse when Tom Brady was sent to the sin bin for taking out Ben Skirving in the air from the restart.

However they should have hit back when Bath were penalised for hands in the ruck only for Macleod to miss a kickable opportunity as Bath went in nine points to the good.

Ten minutes into the second half Wilson, who was this week promoted to the England senior squad, made a bullocking run before being hauled just short of the line.

However after a couple more phases it was the England prop who juggled the ball before crashing over for the game’s first try. Barkley added the conversion to make it 19-3 to the home side.

The Sharks were in danger of losing contact but after some great work by the forwards Leota rumbled his way under the posts – Macleod’s conversion reducing the arrears back to nine.

Barkley then missed his first penalty of the afternoon when Sale were penalised at a scrum.

Sale, with Cipriani on at fly-half, appeared to have woken up and Brady was stopped just short of the line.

However Bath held firm and it was the hosts who were next on the attack from a fantastic turnover and from the ensuing counter-attack they earned a penalty.

The home side chose to kick for the corner and a perfectly-worked lineout drive sent Hooper flying over the line to put the result beyond doubt – Barkley missed the conversion as Bath led 24-10.

Anthony Perenise almost added another for the home side but was stopped just short of the line.

There was still time for Andy Powell to be sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Dominic Day.

And with the final play of the match Bath earned a penalty try from a scrum and Barkley signed off his career at the Rec in style with the conversion from in front of the posts.

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