Bath United edged out by Harlequins in the Premiership Rugby Shield

Harlequins produced a strong second-half performance to secure a 22-31 victory over Bath United at the Rec. 

It was a perfect start for Bath United, picking up the first points of the match after just three minutes. Bath worked their way deep inside the opposition’s half patiently going through the phases. It was Jack Davies who powered over the line from close range after a series of pick and goes from the front five. Alex Davies added the extras. [7-0]

It wasn’t long before the visitors hit back and got on the scoreboard in almost identical fashion. Jack Musk put Charlie Walker through the Bath defence, and with United unable to regroup, Dino Lamb found his way over the line. [7-5]

United nudged further into the lead in the 27th minute, with the forwards showing their dominance, which drew the penalty. Alex Davies pointed for the sticks, and extended his side's advantage to five points. [10-5] 

It was a well-executed backs move that gave Harlequins the third try of the evening. James Dixon found Gabriel Ibitoye on the loop, and the winger had the pace to get on the outside before offloading to Walker, who crossed the whitewash. [10-10]  

United were able to secure the last points of the first half through Michael van Vuuren. A textbook driving maul led by Paul Grant gave United the forward momentum and van Vuuren was on hand to continue his recent scoring record. 

Half-time - Bath United 15-10 Harlequins 

It was Harlequins who broke the deadlock in the second-half, as the visitors went into the lead for the first time. With the game opening up, a loose United pass was gathered by Henry Cheeseman, who put Ibitoye over the try line with a clever grubber kick through the defence. Dixon was able finds his mark and add the extras. [15-17] 

Harlequins added a further three points through the boot of Dixon to give Harlequins a five-point advantage going into the last 20 minutes. [15-20]

United continued to show their strength in the pack, as they ground out the hard metres in the Harlequins 22. The patience paid off, as Dan Hill muscled his way over with Alex Davies putting the hosts back in front on the scoreboard. [22-20]

With nine minutes remaining, Dixon put Harlequins back into a narrow lead from the tee. A tense finale ensued, but it was the men from Twickenham who took the game by the scruff of the neck. [22-23]

A tense finale ensued, but it was Harlequins who took the game by the scruff of the neck in the closing minutes. Cadan Murley exploited a gap in the United defence and darted over, before Dixon added a penalty in the dying seconds to secure the victory. 

Full-time - Bath United 22–31 Harlequins 

Photo courtesy of Bradford Images 

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