Fly-half Chris Malone scored two tries as Bath ended Worcester’s unbeaten home record with a 36-18 win at Sixways in their GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP clash on Boxing day.
The win eased Bath’srelegation worries as worcester seemed lost without skipper Pat Sanderson who is nursing a back strain.
Woircester took the lead after two minutes when Bath prop Duncan Bell was caught shoving in the line out and Shane Drahm landed a goal from 48 metres to open the scoring.
Bath recovered their composure as Drahm lost his on 16 minutes, however. The fly-half was slow to get his kick away and Malone charged the ball down, re-gathered and raced 40 metres to the posts with Barkley adding the conversion.
Worcester were guilty of kicking away possession while it was Bath, rather un-typically, who sought to move the ball wide, anticipating the arrival of new head coach Brian Ashton and his more expansive ideas on January 1st.
Barkley could have added to Bath’s lead on 32 minutes but missed a simple kick and it was Worcester’s turn to take control, kicking a penalty to the corner and driving for the line.
Referee Sean Davey played advantage to the home team when the maul was hauled down and, when the same thing happened even nearer the line, he ran to the posts to award the penalty try, converted by Drahm.
There was still time for Barkley to kick an equalising goal but Worcester replied immediately when Bell was yellow-carded for not rolling away at the tackle and Drahm kicked the goal to send Worcester in at half-time with a 13-10 lead.
Bath not only survived the 10 minutes after the break without Bell but added two more penalties through Barkley before flanker Kai Horstmann strode through to score an unconverted try at the other end to regain the lead at 18-16.
With the wind beginning to aid Bath’s cause, Barkley kicked two more goals while Drahm was off target again and Bath approached stoppage time with a four-point lead.
However Malone wriggled through for his second try on 80 minutes and Bell wrapped things up in spectacular fashion, Barkley adding the conversions.