Bath Rugby fall to last-gasp defeat

Bath Rugby came away from the Kassam Stadium with a losing bonus point this afternoon after Nick Scott stole a 16-9 win for London Welsh with an intercept try in the last minute of the game.

Stephen Donald and Gavin Henson exchanged early penalty misses as the game commenced, before the Welshman broke the deadlock on 10 minutes.

Bath were looking to create space to attack with centres Matt Banahan and Ben Williams combining well to bust holes in the Welsh defence. However, the home side held on and managed to re-group and keep out Michael Claassens, Guy Mercer and Tom Biggs as they launched a series of attacks on the try line.

With just under 20 minutes gone, Welsh forced their way up-field. A great covering tackle from Mercer prevented the breakaway try, but a couple of phases on and Henson extended the lead after referee Andrew Small awarded a penalty. 6-0.

Bath were working hard in Welsh territory, with the home side struggling to get out of their own half much in the first half. However it took until the 29th minute before Bath could get some points on the board. Academy back-row Will Skuse drove from the lineout and earned a penalty after Welsh were guilty of holding on. It was a tricky angle for Donald, but the fly-half curled the ball beautifully inside the posts, taking the score to 6-3.

Bath had the upper hand as the first half drew to a close, and from a lineout 20 metres out Lee Mears burst through the defence. The ball was recycled and found the hands of Dave Attwood who powered his way over the line, only for Small to rule he was held-up and blow the whistle for half-time.

The visitors came out for the second half looking to convert some of their pressure into points. A collapsed scrum from Welsh on the 50 minute mark gave Donald the chance to draw the game level. The fly-half gave Bath the lead with an almost identical penalty kick ten minutes later, after Attwood was brought down in the lineout. 6-9.

With ten minutes to go the visitors were looking to close the game out with the defence working hard to snuff out any Welsh attack before it gathered momentum. Replacement fly-half Gordon Ross missed his first opportunity to bring the scores level once more, but made no mistake the second time around as the game was drawing to a close. 9-9.

As the last minute of the game ticked on, Bath looked for one last attack. Donald spotted an overlap out-wide, and threw a long pass. Ex-Bath Academy wing Scott, having read the pass, came in off his wing and intercepted, winning the 40m footrace with Kyle Eastmond to score between the posts. Ross's conversion sealed the win for the home side, and Bath were left ruing missed opportunities.

Final score London Welsh 16 – Bath Rugby 9.

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