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Bory snatches draw for Bath

24 Feb 2007
Bory snatches draw for Bath

Bath snatched a draw at home to Saracens three minutes from time with a David Bory try converted by Olly Barkley.

Saracens looked to have secured a vital away win up to that point after coming back from 13-0 down.

England World Cup winner Richard Hill enjoyed an increasingly influential game in the loose as Saracens wrested control with tries by Tomas de Vedia and Hill himself.

Saracens came to the Rec with just one defeat in eight Premiership matches and brought Rodd Penney into their back line for England’s Andy Farrell.

Rotation in the front row saw a return for Cobus Visagie at tight head and Nick Lloyd installed instead of former Bath prop Kevin Yates.

While Bath’s away form has been nothing short of dreadful the Rec had provided four Premiership wins on the trot.

Even without England forwards Danny Grewcock and Lee Mears, the Bath pack began brightly and forced a penalty at the scrum which Barkley landed to open the scoring after five minutes.

A lineout obstruction gave Barkley another chance on 10 minutes and Bath found themselves 6-0 ahead.

After Saracens wasted an opportunity from a line out in the 22, they allowed Bath to set up a promising position at the other end, but Bory was denied in the corner.

A speculative kick downfield by Joe Maddock, the ball sticking in the mud inches short of the try line, set things up for the opening try. Bath’s forwards battled away before the ball finally found its way to fly-half Chris Malone who dummied his way over.

Barkley converted for a 13-0 lead on 27 minutes but Bath lost their way after that.

Just six minutes later Saracens found their rhythm with a spectacular break out by left wing Kameli Ratuvou. Although he was tackled just short of the line, Saracens were awarded a penalty and worked right wing de Vedia over for a try at the posts.

Jackson converted and did the honours again five minutes later when Hill appeared on Neil de Kock’s shoulder to earn the second try. After being on the defensive for most of the half they were suddenly 14-13 ahead at the break.

Jackson added a penalty to extend the lead to four points eight minutes into the second half but when Bath conceded a penalty on their own line the visitors opted for a scrum. Bath held out but conceded another penalty at the breakdown on 56 minutes and Jackson goaled again.

As the home side struggled to put their game together Saracens grew in confidence, feeding off Bath errors. Coach Steve Meehan reshuffled his back line in an effort to regain the initiative, sending on Shaun Berne for Chev Walker.

The response came very late, Barkley almost making the tryline but from the scrum Bory took an inside pass from Barkley and twisted in the tackle to touch down. Barkley’s conversion was greeted with relief rather than elation.

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