Worcester sent Bristol down to National League One on Saturday afternoon after they beat a poor Saracens outfit.
It puts them 13 points ahead of the West Country men with just a possible 10 available after Bristol lost away to London Irish on Saturday.
Worcester’s fortunes before kick-off lay in their own hands and, although edgy, they seemed determined to win after suffering two defeats inside the last six days, one of them at Bristol.
Saracens’ motivation, as they head towards the season’s end and big changes at Vicarage Road with a new South African consortium axing a rumoured 15 players from the squad, was to keep their Heineken Cup qualification chances through the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP alive.
The first-half, though, was a pretty drab affair.
Five kicks at goal were the only highlights of the period although Worcester captain Pat Sanderson did complain angrily at referee Chris White a few minutes before the whistle after a tussle on the floor with Saracens flanker Justin Melck.
Saracens fly-half Gordon Ross missed a sitter of a penalty from 25 metres. Worcester stand-off Matthew Jones, though, made no mistake with a massive penalty from the halfway line before Ross missed another 30-metre shot and a Jones 50-metre drop-goal attempt when wide.
Worcester entered the break 6-0 ahead via a simple 25-metre penalty from Kiwi Willie Walker, on loan from local rivals Gloucester, but it was by no means shaping into a classic.
Ross immediately reduced the arrears after the interval with a penalty when Worcester lock Greg Rawlinson was penalised at a ruck.
Walker put Worcester six points ahead again with a bizarre 30-metre penalty which looked to go miles wide but bent sharply right to pierce the posts.
And that signalled a change in the game at last as Worcester stepped up a gear and gained the benefits.
Walker’s fourth penalty came after pressure on the visitors’ line and, when the home side attacked again near halfway, centre Alex Grove ran through a wide gap and sprinted 40 metres to the posts for the try.
Walker added a simple drop goal in front of the sticks and Saracens were heading for their eighth straight away Premiership defeat this season – leaving their Heineken Cup qualification hopes fading fast.
The Watford-based outfit did finish the stronger and replacement David Seymour went over for a try from a lineout towards the end – but it was only a consolation.