Bath finish the season in style

Bath Rugby finished the season on a high, after beating Newcastle Falcons five tries to two - final score 42-12.

With the game heralding the last appearance for Butch James, Luke Watson and Danny Grewcock, the Rec was full of excitement pre-match, and a cracking atmosphere had built up by kick-off.

Bath started the game aggressively, but both teams took turns to trade phases of attack. However, it was Bath who were first to get the points on the board courtesy of a long range penalty goal from James.

With the home side knowing the bonus point was vital to keep their play-off hopes alive, they set about hunting down the try line with steely determination. With the ball coming off the line out, the backs hit the gain line at speed, and the ball was recycled from the contact. Bath found numbers out wide, and fullback Sam Vesty strolled over the line after being left open. James added the conversion. 10-0.

Bath were gaining considerable momentum as the half played on. Breaking the Newcastle defence numerous times it seemed inevitable the home side were to score again soon. Taking play right up to the Falcons try line, Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe was rewarded his first ever Bath try with an excellent short line off Michael Claassens for Bath's second try. 15-0.

Tries were coming thick and fast as Bath made it one step closer to a potential winning bonus point. Once again in Newcastle's goal area, the backs demonstrated a loop move involving James and centre Matt Banahan, releasing flying winger Tom Biggs. Blasting in to a wall of players, the ball was presented quickly, allowing Matt Carraro to sneak through the middle and score. James was on target once more with the conversion. 22-0.

The fourth try came on the stroke of half time, as Banahan blasted through the defence to increase the score to 29-0. With the Blue, Black and Whites showing patience in the possession of the ball, it was fired out from a ruck ten metres shy of the line to James. Offloading inside to Banahan, the towering centre ran on to cross over just left of the posts. James found the target to take the score to 29-0 at half time.

Despite Bath's dominance in the first half, it was the visitors who scored first in the second half. An individual show of brilliance from young winger Alex Tait saw him beat his opposing defender with a neat chip and chase, touching down on the ball left of the posts. 29-5.

Bath responded quickly with a period of sustained period of attack and with Newcastle crumpling under the intensity, they gave away a penalty. Bath opted for the three points and James converted.

Newcastle, fighting for their Premiership lives, came surging back at Bath. Making good use of their limited time in Bath's goal area, a superb cross field kick found Luke Fielden who scored in the corner. Jeremy Manning added the conversion. 32-12.

But James was on hand once again to increase the lead, with just under 15 minutes left in the game. Bath were busy attacking in the midfield with Nick Abendanon sprinting through the middle. Having been tackled just past the half way line, Bath looked to play the ball quickly but were awarded a penalty for the tackler not releasing. James struck the ball well, sending the ball though the middle of the sticks. 35-12.

The last try of the game was also the first try for the Club for replacement winger Jacques Boussuge, who scored with just under five minutes remaining. Breaking out towards the left touch line, a neat offload to the French flyer enabled him to sprint down the touch line and after beating his last defender, he ran in, elated with the support of the crowd behind him. Vesty converted, and despite a last minute charge to attempt a try for the retiring Danny Grewcock, it was the last score of the game.

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