Nick Scott was London Welsh’s last-minute hero scoring a 40-metre interception try to give the Exiles their second Aviva Premiership home win of the year, upsetting Bath Rugby 16-9.
The former Bath winger picked off Stephen Donald’s pass to complete an astonishing comeback, after the World Cup-winning fly-half looked to have kicked his side to victory.
In a game characterised by its relentless kicking battle, the Kassam Stadium came to life in the final moments, with Gordon Ross coming off the bench to tie the game followed seconds later by Scott’s heroics on the last play.
With fly-halves Donald and Gavin Henson both content to go to the air as their first option – the game was characterised by field position and errors, with the visitors winning both categories.
Welsh were always in the game however – with the feeling one try would win the game for either side – after some outstanding goal-line defence denied Bath crossing on three occasions.
Despite some impressive scrummaging by the London Welsh front-row, Lyn Jones’ side looked to have slipped to their third bonus-point loss of the season with Donald holding his nerve to kick two second-half penalties and overturn a three-point deficit.
However, with the win the Aviva Premiership new-boys move eight points clear of bottom club Sale, while Bath drift further out of the play-off picture, with only away win this year.
Henson opened the scoring for the home side on ten minutes with a strike from out wide, after both he and Donald saw early attempts miss the target.
On 16 minutes, Welsh drove a lineout into Bath territory, and Kiwi scrum-half Tyson Keats broke from the base, darting into the Bath 22 and forcing a penalty – Henson converting form 35 metres to double his side’s lead.
As Bath worked their way deep into Exiles territory, Michael Claassens began pulling the strings and sending runners round the corner.
Promising No.8 Will Skuse proved an effective and willing carrier and it was one of his drives that led to Welsh again being penalised at the breakdown. Donald stroked the easy kick to put Bath within three.
With the clock ticking down Welsh conceded possession, knocking on at the base of an attacking scrum and were whistled for a penalty on the resulting Bath scrum.
Donald kicked his side within 20m, and a smart move at the front of the lineout put Lee Mears through, only to be cut down five metres out.
Bath’s forward runners once again flooded the fringes, with lock Dave Attwood hitting the ball with real purpose on a wider line.
Attwood crashed over under the posts only for referee Andrew Small to signal the ball held up, and send the team’s in for half-time.
Donald levelled the scores on 51 minutes with a well-struck penalty from 35 metres after the referee deemed the Welsh front-row to have collapsed a scrum.
Bath took the lead 13 minutes later from a Donald penalty – a carbon copy of his previous attempt – after a Bath jumper was pulled down at the line-out.
With Scottish fly-half Ross taking over kicking duties – he was called on within minutes of stepping on the field, Bath being whistled for an infringement at the breakdown just outside their 22.
As he did against Wasps last week, Ross held his nerve and slotted the penalty – levelling the scores.
With Welsh finally looking to move the ball, Tom Arscott came close to putting Scott through on the left wing with the ball dropping agonisingly out of the winger’s reach.
With a draw looking inevitable, Scott gambled on a Donald miss pass, reading the fly-half perfectly to come in off his wing and intercept the ball before outpacing Kyle Eastmond to the line to seal the win.