A strong finish from Bath Rugby saw them beat a tenacious Newcastle Falcons side 24-6 at the Rec this afternoon.
A straightforward penalty kick from George Ford got Bath on the scoreboard first after a scrum on fifteen minutes was edged by the home side, making it 3-0. It was to be Bath's only points in the first 40 minutes, with two other attempts failing in the strong wind.
The first half was a flurry of Bath attack and an onslaught of Falcons defence, neither of which were helped by the wind and rain.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Falcons fly-half Phil Godman converted a penalty to bring the scores level at 3-3.
Half time: Bath Rugby 3 - Newcastle Falcons 3
Three minutes into the second half, Bath were penalised for not releasing a Falcons player in the tackle, and Godman's penalty kick gave the visitors the lead for the first and only time in the match.
With almost 50 minutes on the clock, Ford found himself in very little space with the ball in hand in the Falcons half. The fleet-footed fly-half sidestepped then fended his way through two would-be tacklers, before popping to replacement wing Horacio Agulla, who ran in under the posts for the first try of the match. Ford converted the Argentinean's effort to give Bath a four-point lead. 10-6.
Ford was at the heart of his side's next try when his penalty kick from hand inside Bath's half found touch on Falcons' 5m line. The ball was slung wide from the lineout that followed, before coming back inside to Nathan Catt. The loosehead showed commendable footwork to go close himself, before Leroy Houston received the ball to dive under the posts for his side's second try in five minutes. The conversion from Ford made it 17-6.
It wasn't until the final minute of the match that Bath - having sent wave after wave of attack into the Falcons' red zone - at last scored their third try. A Bath lineout on Newcastle's 22 saw the ball recycled quickly enough to create panic amongst the visiting defence. Francois Louw profited from the scrambling defence to go over for the try, which Ford converted from in front of the post.
Final score: Bath Rugby 24 - Newcastle Falcons 6