Bath United came away with a nail-biting 19-14 win over West Country rivals Bristol Bears A in Round 3 of the Premiership Rugby Shield on Saturday.
A physical contest between Bath United and local rivals Bristol Bears A, saw the home side secure their first win of the season. First-half tries from Gabe Hamer-Webb, Max Ojomoh and Levi Douglas, provided the hosts with the perfect platform. Despite relentless attacks from Bristol A, and nail-biting second-half, the boys in Blue, Black and White successfully saw off the result.
It was the hosts who were on the scoreboard first. Having dominated possession early on, a loose pass from Bristol’s experienced Ian Madigan put bears under pressure in their own 22. Moments later, United stole possession and an excellent flat pass from Max Ojomoh gave Gabe Hamer-Webb acres of space on the wing. The homegrown talent accelerated round his opposite number and slid into the corner, the tight angle meant Davies was unable to convert. [5-0]
Reluctant to roll over, it was the visitors who struck next. Bears were awarded a penalty inside United half, after Tom de Glanville was caught without support, and penalised for holding on. A well-rehearsed driving maul before a series of driving mauls meant that despite some impressive United defence, numbers were short. A clever wrap around saw United fenders unhinged and fly-half Tiff Eden scampered through unopposed, Ian Madigan had no troubled from the tee. [5-7]
It was only minutes before United were back in the lead, this time through Max Ojomoh. Alex Davies’ flat pass sent the young centre through a giant gap and a burst of pace, saw him sail over the whitewash moments later. Alex Davies had no problem adding the extras. [12-7]
Once again the Rec was lifted, as United on a high, scored their third of the afternoon. A penalty at the scrum, meant Alex Davies put the home side into the opposition’s corner. A powerful driving maul, with Levi Douglas at the tail, proved too much for Bristol, and the no.8 dropped over the line. Heavy rain, but Alex Davies was accurate to make it the maximum [19-7]
Keen to close the gap, Bristol were next to score. A soft United penalty, allowed Bristol to secure a line-out in Bath’s 22. United did well to disrupt and turn-over Bristol’s driving maul, but a loose pass from Max Ojomoh five metres from United’s own line, saw winger Tom Pincus intercept and walk-in the try. Ian Madigan added the extras to complete the score. [19-14]
Half-Time - Bath United 19-14 Bristol Bears A
An unusual second forty saw neither side get on the scorecard. With both sides reverting to kick-chase strategy, a flurry of half-chances and squandered opportunities left fans wanting more.
Shortly into the half, Bath United did well to hold off what looked likely to be a certain try for the visitors. Hungry for points, Bristol fly-half Tiff Eden, danced his way through United’s midfield but his foray was cut short by some excellent defending from last man Tom De Glanville, keeping United ahead.
United showed impressive composure in defence, and despite some powerful attacks from Will Hurrell, no points were leaked by the home side.