Bath gain bonus point win but only just pip Glasgow

Bath Rugby won 35-31 against Glasgow Warriors in the Heineken Cup recording a four try bonus point victory as they only just held off the determined visitors to win at The Rec.

The opening try of what was to become a high scoring game was scored in the 5th minute by Glasgow. Spilt ball by Bath fullback Nick Abendanon was kicked ahead by Max Evans and eluded Butch James. Glasgow wing Tom Evans then came in at an angle to score. The extras were added by Ruaridh Jackson. Bath then had plenty of time on the ball but errors cost them. However a Butch James penalty from 45metres out closed the score to 3-7.

In the 22nd minute after an Abendanon break, Michael Stephenson was hauled down just before the try line but Bath were penalised for crossing. Glasgow missed a penalty in the 27th minute.

Bath's endeavours on the attacking front finally paid off in the 32nd minute. A James chip and chase from within his own half unleashed Matt Banahan and only a last ditch football style clearance from Glasgow prevented the big winger from scoring. From the resulting line-out and maul, Andy Beattie was just able to get enough pressure on the ball for it to be awarded as a try by the television match official. James missed the penalty. 8-7.

The lead was short lived however and Glasgow's Tom Evans crossed for his second try of the afternoon in the 35th minute, breaking through the Bath defence to score. Gregor converted.

Bath ended the first half's scoring through a James penalty in the 38th minute. The half-time score was 11-14 to the visitors.

The second half started with Michael Stephenson crossing the whitewash in the 44th minute to restore Bath's lead. James' conversion and a penalty opportunity four minutes later put Bath 21-14 ahead.

Glasgow responded quickly. An Andrew Henderson kick slipped beneath Stephenson and allowed Tom Evans to claim a well deserved hatrick. Gregor hit the upright and Bath kept the lead.

Stephenson made amends for the earlier mistake to score his second try in the 55th minute. Claassens' pass from the breakdown to James, saw the fly-half pop the ball to Stephenson on the angle and the winger scored. James' conversion made it 28-19.

With both teams running the ball and the game going from end to end, Matt Banahan's charge through the Glasgow defence culminated in Shaun Berne scoring. James again converted. 35-19.

Far from looking down and out, Glasgow took the game to Bath and scored two tries. Hefin O'Hare scored the first and then in the 74th minute, Ruaridh Jackson intercepted an Abendanon pass to run unopposed to the line. With one try converted, Glasgow were within one try of winning the match.

And that try so nearly happened for the Scottish outfit. Jackson once again broke through the Bath defence and it was only the pace of Nick Abendanon that allowed the England international to put the ball into touch and end the game for a relieved Bath Rugby.

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