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Bristol take a bashing from Bath

07 Mar 2009
Bristol take a bashing from Bath

Bath predictably overwhelmed Bristol 45-8 in one of the most one-sided local derbies seen at the Recreation Ground in recent years, hammering another nail in their neighbours’ relegation coffin.

Bristol led at one stage in the first half but it was shortlived as the hosts re-grouped to complete a six-try rout.

Full-back Joe Maddock marked his 100th appearance with two touchdowns, while Alex Crockett also scored two tries and Butch James finished with seven successful kicks from eight attempts.

James tested the Bristol defence with a full repertoire of kicks before Maddock scored the opening try after five minutes.

Scott Bemand fed the Kiwi full-back from a ruck and he dummied his way past Tom Arscott before racing 40 metres to the posts, leaving an easy conversion for James.

Bristol continued to be under the cosh but Nathan Brew stood strong against the onslaught and the visitors hit back against the run of play after 12 minutes when Lee Robinson latched on to Shaun Perry’s chip down the touchline to touch down unopposed. Ed Barnes failed with the conversion.

Bristol were forced to change their hooker after 15 minutes when David Blaney went off with a knee injury but his replacement, Ollie Hayes, took some time to tune into the same wavelength as his line-out jumpers.

But Bath were in generous mood. James was well off target with his next opportunity – a penalty from 45 metres – and Maddock and Matt Banahan found themselves at cross purposes when attempting a quick lineout on their own 22.

Bristol might have scored through the industrious Brew but had to be content with an Ed Barnes penalty, which gave them an improbable 8-7 lead after 26 minutes.

The advantage lasted only a couple of minutes, however, as James followed up an excellent break by Shontayne Hape with a straightforward penalty.

Andrew Higgins was then stopped just short but Maddock was quick to claim the touchdown in the corner.

James’ conversion from the touchline was spot-on and Bath held their 17-8 lead to the interval.

Barnes missed a penalty for Bristol soon after the break and Bath rubbed it when James’ grubber created a 46th-minute try for Crockett at the other end. James again converted from the touchline.

Bristol brought off Perry after 50 minutes – and their challenge fell apart almost straight away. His replacement, Haydn Thomas, was sin-binned within two minutes of coming on and Bath scored two converted tries in his absence.

The first was a penalty try after three successive infringements on the line and replacement number eight Daniel Browne ran in another on the hour. James was successful with both conversions.

The South African number 10 was also on target after Crockett supported a sublime break by Nick Abendanon for his second score after 70 minutes.

Robinson’s late yellow card for an illegal tackle on Bemand completed a miserable afternoon for the visitors.

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