Bath United fought back to claim a 29-27 bonus point victory over a strong Quins A side tonight at the Recreation Ground in their final Aviva A League match of the season.
Tries from Ollie Parkinson, Ollie Devoto, Jack Cuthbert and Rich Lane along with a penalty and three conversions from Tom Heathcote secured the victory.
The evening didn't begin well for the home team as Quins scrum-half Jordan Burns was able to score under the posts after finding himself on the end of an attack that easily broke through United's defensive line. This left an easy conversion for Ben Botica and the away team were 7-0 up within three minutes.
The rest of the half was a scrappy affair, Botica and Heathcote traded a penalty each and then on 35 minutes, in what appeared to be a case of déjà vu, Jordan Burns broke through again to score, and Botica added the extras.
Half Time: Bath United 3 – 13 Harlequins A
After the break, United stamped their authority on the second half early. A series of pick and goes from the back of the ruck enabled Parkinson to burrow over the try-line and Heathcote converted, 10-20.
Bath worked hard and were adding to the scoresheet again 10 minutes later. A great break and offload from Olly Woodburn enabled Devoto to show a good turn of pace, break a number of tackles and cross for the try. Heathcote added to his personal tally for the evening with the conversion, and United were now only trailing by three.
The home side continued to apply pressure. A lovely break from Richard Lane brought Devoto into the attack again, this time he was able to send a pass wide to Cuthbert. The fullback broke through the Harlequins defence to add another five points, giving United the lead for the first time,24-20.
Quins weren't finished for the evening though and hit back. Tighthead Will Collier powered over the line from the back of a ruck and replacement Louis Grimboldbywas on hand to convert. This crucially gave the away side a three point lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game.
With just three minutes remaining, Heathcote had the opportunity to level the scores with a penalty but his kick fell agonisingly short. United kept fighting and another good break from Woodburn allowed the ball to be recycled to Chris Cook. The scrum-half fed the ball to Cuthbert who was able to get the ball to Lane who darted over in the corner for the score. Heathcote couldn't convert but it didn't matter as Bath were able to see out the remaining minutes and clinch the win.
Final Score: Bath United 29 – 27 Harlequins A
15. Cuthbert, 14. Lane, 13. Rokoduguni (Devoto 40), 12. Vesty (c) (Adamson 33), 11. Woodburn, 10. Heathcote, 9. Cook; 1. Dowding 2. Sharman (Tanner 40), 3. Griffin (Maidement 64), 4. Oldaker, 5. Parkinson, 6. Dunn, 7. Tyas, 8. Buckle
Replacements not used:
17. Jamieson, 19. Vaughan-Edwards, 20. Lowcock, 21. Drury
15. Lindsay-Hague, 14. Stegmann, 13. Sloan, 12. Botica (Taylor 52), 11. Walker, 10. Clegg, 9. Burns (Grimboldby 59); 1. Marfo (Mayhew 66), 2. Ward, 3. Sinckler (Collier 52), 4. Twomey, 5. Browne (c) (Matthews 57), 6. Trayfoot, 7. Clifford, 8. Guest (Allen 70)
Replacements not used:
23. Tommy Fuller