Bath United ensured their first defence of the Aviva A League title was a successful one, beating Harlequins 24-8 at the Rec tonight.
United could have been six points ahead after the opening quarter, but had missed with two long-range kicks at goal. On 20 minutes, though, captain Charlie Ewels broke his way through the Quins defence to score his side's first try, which fly-half Ollie Devoto duly converted. 7-0.
Soon after, a Quins tap-and-go took them to United's 22m line, where they were gifted another penalty when the home team failed to roll away at the ruck. Number 10 Louis Grimoldby brought Quins back to within four points. 7-3.
Nearing half time, Devoto atoned for a missed kick at goal moments earlier by punishing Quins for going offside with a three-pointer.
Half time: Bath United 10 - Harlequins 3
Much of the half that followed involved little or no scoring, with both sides looking to play good running rugby but failing to deliver the knockout blow they needed. When it came, though, it was to Quins' detriment, as United openside Max Northcote-Green scored from a driving maul which found very few defenders in its way. Devoto kicked a fabulous conversion from the right-hand touchline. 17-3 with 70 minutes gone.
The pressure kept mounting on Quins, especially at the coalface, where a United pack showing one or two fresh faces forced the visitors into conceding a penalty try minutes from time. Rory Jennings added the two points. 27-3.
Quins didn't give up, though, Grimoldby kicking a deft crossfield shot to the clutches of wing Jordan Burns, who scored in the corner. The difficult kick was missed by Grimoldby, and it was the final act of the game.
Final score: Bath United 24 - 8 Harlequins