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Match report

1 year ago

Bath Rugby seal dramatic late win at Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks 20 v 27 Bath Rugby

8 November 2013, KO 19:45

AJ Bell Stadium
LV= Cup




8 November 2013, 10:45pm

Bath Rugby seal dramatic late win at Sale Sharks

Bath Rugby sealed a dramatic late 20-27 victory against Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium tonight, with the winning try scored in the 80th minute.

The first half was an even display, starting with a Joe Ford penalty for the Sharks three minutes after the opening whistle.

Bath did very well to keep Sale out in the first quarter, the home side exerting pressure with the ball in hand. Nonetheless, the visitors kept their nerve in defence – not least out wide, where Tom Biggs showed precision and force in the tackle.

The key moment for Bath came on 24 minutes, after Shark fly-half Ford was deemed to have made his clearance kick from outside his 22. Suddenly the visitors had the invite their forwards had been waiting for, the resulting maul guzzling up yards patiently until Anthony Perenise touched down amidst the mass of bodies in the in-goal area. Tom Heathcote converted to make it 3-7.

Then, near the half-hour mark, Bath were penalised for not entering the ruck through the gate, and Sale kicked to touch. From a near-identical position to Bath's try six minutes earlier, Sale scored from a driving maul, Ford's conversion giving the home side the lead. 10-7.

With two minutes to go in the first half, Bath tapped and went after a free kick in Sharks' 22. The edgy Sale defence were caught offside, and Tom Heathcote's straightforward penalty kick made it 10-10 to end the first half.

Half-time: Sale Sharks 10 – Bath Rugby 10

It was Bath who had the upper hand at the start of the second half, despite the score remaining the same until sixteen minutes in, when Heathcote slotted a neat drop goal to give his team a 10-13 lead.

Despite glimpses of enterprising play from both sides, it wasn't until a moment of magic from Matt Banahan in the 64th minute that the game truly came alive. Receiving the ball in Sale's 22, Banahan made the deftest of chips over the Sharks defence, ghosted through the gap and touch down over the line to score his side's second try. Heathcote's conversion made it 10-20.

The game was far from over, however. With ten minutes to go, replacement Sharks fly-half Nick MacLeod kicked a penalty to bring his team within a converted try of Bath.

Bath almost had the win in the bag when, with two minutes to go, a Sale surge at their tryline was foiled by a fumbled ball into open space after a heavy tackle from the visitors. Bath even had the sniff of a length-of-the-field try and hoofed the ball downfield – except it was intercepted by Sale, who scored near the posts. MacLeod's conversion made it 20-20.

It was in the final few minutes of the game that both sides, rather than take the draw, threw the kitchen sink at each other looking for the win.

First Sale looked to have broken away with an intercept, only for a heroic chase by Tom Biggs to haul his man back down. When play moved to the other side of the field following a Bath penalty, a Trojan effort by Dave Attwood resulted in an exhilarating try with time dead on the clock.

Heathcote made a fine conversion to put the cherry on a dazzling match between these two sides.

Final Score: Sale Sharks 20 - Bath Rugby 27

Match details

Referee: Simon Rees
Half Time score: 10-10


Tries: Paterson (28), Haley (76)
Cons: Ford (28), MacLeod (77)
Pens: Ford (1), MacLeod (69)


Tries: Perenise (21), Banahan (63), Attwood (82)
Cons: Heathcote (22,64,84)
Drop Goals: Heathcote (55)
Pens: Heathcote (37)

Sale score card

Name Tries Conv Pen Drop Pts
Michael Haley 1 0 0 0 5
Joe Ford 0 1 1 0 5
Michael Paterson 1 0 0 0 5
Nick MacLeod 0 1 1 0 5

Bath score card

Name Tries Conv Pen Drop Pts
Tom Heathcote 0 3 1 1 12
Anthony Perenise 1 0 0 0 5
Dave Attwood 1 0 0 0 5
Matthew Banahan 1 0 0 0 5

Other results

08/11/13 Wasps 21 - 24 Saracens
08/11/13 Scarlets 21 - 13 Newport Gwent Dragons
08/11/13 Cardiff Blues 16 - 21 Worcester
08/11/13 Leicester 39 - 16 Ospreys
Bath Rugby Lineup
Player image


Sam Vesty

Fly Half




P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
1 FB Michael Haley15Nick Abendanon FB
W Tom Arscott14Richard Lane W
C Andy Forsyth13Ollie Devoto C
C Mark Jennings12Kyle Eastmond C
W Tom Brady11Tom Biggs W
1 1 FH Joe Ford10Tom Heathcote FH 3 1 1
SH Will Cliff9Martin Roberts SH
P Ross Harrison1Nathan Catt P
H Marc Jones2Ross Batty H
P Tony Buckley3Anthony Perenise P 1
L Andrei Ostrikov4Dominic Day L
L Tom Holmes5Ryan Caldwell L
FL Jon Mills6Will Skuse FL
FL Daniel Braid7Mathew Gilbert FL
1 8 Michael Paterson8Leroy Houston 8


rh Tommy Taylor16Tom Dunn rh
rp Eifion Roberts17Charlie Beech rp
rp Henry Thomas18Kane Palma-Newport rp
r8 Kirill Kulemin19Dave Attwood r8 1
rfl Mark Easter20Nick Koster rfl
rsh Dwayne Peel21Chris Cook rsh
1 1 rfh Nick MacLeod22Matthew Banahan rfh 1
rc Rob Miller23Anthony Watson rc