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Newcastle pull the plug on Bath

11 Sep 2004
Newcastle pull the plug on Bath

A brace of tries from Tom May and 13 points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson broke Bath's unbeaten run at home that extended back to February, and gave the Falcons their first win at the Rec since the opening day of Premiership rugby on August 23, 1997.

The visitors return north with a bonus-point win, and the knowledge that they rapidly morphing into real title-contenders.

Indeed, the only major black mark against a fine afternoon's work, was the red card shown to No.8 Phil Dowson for his part in a punch-up involving both packs during injury time.

Newcastle blew Bath away inside the opening 26 minutes as flanker Mike McCarthy and wingers Tom May and Michael Stephenson all crossed for tries, capitalising on some uncharacteristically flimsy Bath defence.

Wilkinson added the extras by kicking two conversions and a penalty during the early onslaught, with Bath only managing a solitary try from England lock Steve Borthwick and a Chris Malone penalty before the break.

Newcastle had lock Luke Gross yellow-carded in the 34th minute – but Bath failed to take advantage of their numerical advantage.

Wilkinson landed a drop-goal on 56 minutes, but Bath – who had finally found some cohesion – responded immediately with a try from wing Brendon Daniel.

The visitors hit back via another try by May, soon followed by a second for Daniel in the final minute of regular play – a score that give the capacity crowd of 10,400 a little home comfort.

Wilkinson – playing his 100th Premiership match – was not to be upstaged, and once the hand-bags had been untangled, completed a brace of his own by slotting another drop-goal at the death and compounding Bath's misery.

For Bath:Tries: Borthwick, Daniel 2Pen: Malone

For Newcastle Falcons:Tries: McCarthy, May 2, StephensonCons: Wilkinson 2Pens:  WilkinsonDGs: Wilkinson 2

Yellow cards: Gross ( Newcastle, 34), May (Newcastle, 80)Red card: May (Newcastle, 80)

For more news, try out Bath Rugby v Newcastle Falcons

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