Bath United fall to London Welsh A

A 79th minute try from Charlie Beech was little consolation for Bath United as they fell to a 20-8 loss to London Welsh A at Imber Court.

United got off to a good start earning the first points of the game from a placed penalty kick to touch set up a platform for an attacking line out. The catch and drive worked well and drove the visitors to inside the 22 metre line of the Welsh. With United applying the phases, the Welsh defence eventually slipped up and was penalised for not releasing the tackled player. Fly-half Tom Heathcote, making his first appearance since pre-season, slotted the penalty taking United ahead by three points to nil.

The slippery conditions had dashed any hopes of a wide expansive game, the boot being the favoured method of play. A well taken high ball just within United's half proved costly for the hosts as, after repeated warnings for going off their feet at the breakdown, flanker Mike Denbee was shown the yellow card and Welsh were down to fourteen men.

The one man advantage looked to be having an effect as United began to utilise their extra forward with a series of pick and drives working the side towards the try line. A good passage of play followed in the backs with Heathcote making a good break and linking up with fullback Sam Vesty whose pass was unlucky to not find the supporting Olly Woodburn in open space.

On the stroke of the half time whistle Welsh's fly-half Alex Davies attempted a long range penalty, but he could not find the middle of the posts. Half time score 0-3.

As the second half got under way, London Welsh started positively with good front foot possession which allowed Davies to stab a well-placed kick into touch five metres in front of the United try line. Under pressure, the youthful Bath side lost the ball in the contact from the line-out.

Welsh got an early shove in the resulting scrum and as the United pack began to back track, the referee deemed a try was inevitable and awarded the home side with a penalty try. Davies added the extras. 7-3.

Frustratingly, United also fell foul of the referee's patience. As Welsh launched a promising attack, replacement number 8 Josh Ovens's counter-rucking efforts earned him 10 minutes in the sin-bin. Davies added a simple three points from in front of the posts. 10-3.

United exerted a period of pressure on the Welsh defence as the game entered the final quarter but once again the quick line speed and well organised defensive line prevented the gain line being significantly breached and eventually forced the attacking side to knock the ball on.

London Welsh looked to have gained the upper hand in the second half and a good piece of backs play released flying winger Joe Ajuwa whose offload looked to have put fullback Tom Voyce over, except for the referee to bring it back for a forward pass.

However, the Bath defence was tried once again moments later and another purposeful run by Ajuwa cut through to power his way over the try line. Davies converted making the scores 17-3.

Bath United's continued to battle and seemed to claw back some dominance as the game came to close. A good attacking line-out and patient build-up of phases rewarded the United pack as they kept the ball close and drove their way over, prop Charlie Beech the tscorer. 17-8.

As United found some late momentum, Welsh had the final word with a well taken drop goal to finish the game and make the final score 20-8.


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