Bath Rugby topped their European Rugby Champions Cup pool with a breathtaking 20-15 win against a dangerous Glasgow Warriors side at the Rec.
Powerful running in midfield from the visitors enabled inside centre Alex Dunbar to open the scoring after just four minutes. Fly-half Finn Russell converted. 0-7.
The home side got the upper hand at the scrum throughout the first half, but had little to show for their set-piece dominance. They only registered their first points half an hour into the match, following an infringement by Glasgow at a lineout, Ford's penalty kick making it 3-7.
Ford was at it again five minutes later, adding a further three points after a lively counterattack from Anthony Watson saw Glasgow penalised at the breakdown. 6-7.
Half time: Bath Rugby 6-7 Glasgow Warriors
What had been a promising attack from Bath in the 47th minute was cut short by a knock-on from the home side, resulting in an impressive counterattack from Glasgow which led to Richie Vernon touching down in the corner. Russell missed with his conversion attempt. 6-12.
Bath took the lead for the first time in the match in the 52nd minute. Presented with a kickable penalty, they instead gave their supporters a bigger reason to cheer as Ford kicked to the corner. From there, the home side's driving maul was too strong for Glasgow, who conceded a penalty try that Ford converted. 13-12.
The lead didn't last long though, with the home side penalised shortly after the restart; Russell's accuracy with the boot taking Glasgow two points clear. 13-15.
It was Bath's pack that got the team out of a sticky spot once more when, in the 66th minute, they were awarded a penalty not long after Watson had been held up over the line. Devoto converted to take the score to 20-15.
What followed was a back-and-forth between the two sides that left hearts in mouths at the Rec. Glasgow looked for all the world the most likely to score in the dying minutes, hammering away at Bath's tryline. The advantage only swung in Bath's favour as the indomitable Francois Louw won his team an extraordinary penalty to regain possession.
Ford kicked to touch, and from there Matt Garvey (so impactful throughout the match) won the lineout to allow the ball to be kicked out to end a thoroughly exciting match.
Full time: Bath Rugby 20-15 Glasgow Warriors
European Rugby Champions Cup
25 January 2015
Referee: John Lacey
Half Time score: 6-7
- Conversions: Ford (52), Devoto (66)
- Penalties: Ford (29, 34)
- Tries: Dunbar (4), Vernon (48)
- Conversions: Russell (5)
- Penalties: Russell (55)