25 August 2012, 12:05am
Bath United started their season with a hard-fought 10-6 win over Principality Premiership side Llandovery.
This was the first time the two sides had met, and it was the Welsh who drew first blood, fly-half Cerith Rees scoring his first penalty of the night after two minutes of play.
United fullback Sam Vesty had the chance to level the scores two minutes later, but couldn't quite find the angle.
The United pack soon got the scoreboard rolling for the home side however, after a Llandovery knock-on gave United an attacking scrum five metres out.
The powerful pack marched their visitors backwards, and whilst Freddie Clarke broke off and touched down in his first appearance in Bath colours, referee Ian Tempest had already awarded the penalty scrum. Vesty had no problem with the conversion, taking the score to 7-3 after just under 10 minutes.
As the rain came down, conditions worsened, but it didn't stop either side trying to run with the ball. Llandovery in particular were trying to run from deep, testing the United defence, but it held firm. A couple of breakaway chances fell to Welsh winger Chris Knight, but the scramble defence, and good covering tackles from Ben Williams and Mark McMillan in particular, meant he was stopped in his tracks before troubling the United try line.
Instead it was United who scored next, with Vesty succeeding with his second penalty attempt on the 30 minute mark.
After being awarded a penalty at the scrum, Llandovery doubled their score on the stroke of half-time, fly-half Rees sending the ball sailing between the sticks. 10-6.
The difficult conditions meant any further expansive play was fruitless, and whilst there were no further scores, the performance from the young United side was strong and they matched the Welsh side well.
Llandovery repeatedly tried to test the home defence, yet for the most part couldn't find a way to break through. They eventually found a gap, and Knight thought he had snuck through for the try, only for the pass to be ruled forward.
It was the last meaningful passage of play for either side, as a young United held their ground and stood firm to secure the victory.
Final Score – Bath United 10 – Llandovery 6.