Bath United fight back to victory at the Stoop

A youthful Bath United, echoing the achievements of the senior squad, made it two wins from two this season in the Aviva A League as they came back from a 14-point deficit to beat Harlequins A 31-22.

Both sides named some established performers in their starting line-ups to further increase the strength of the contest, and such selections told with noteworthy performances from United wing Tom Biggs and Quins fly-half Ben Botica.

It was a combative opening display from United, with half-backs Martin Roberts and Tom Heathcote seeking to pin Quins back in their half from the outset. However, a delayed kick from United in their own 22 was charged down by Quins wing Sam Smith, whose try in the corner was successfully converted by Botica.

A dominant scrum gave United a penalty early on, from which they continued to assert their dominance at the set-piece. A rolling maul in Quins' 22 soon gave way to a try for Kane Palma-Newport. 7-5.

A piercing diagonal kick through by Botica resulted in another try for the home side; his failed conversion making it 12-5. United fly-half Tom Heathcote's penalty in front of the post soon drew his side closer to keep his side in the running after 40 minutes.

Half-time: Harlequins A 12 – Bath United 8.

Quins were the quickest out of the blocks in the second-half, with Botica once more kicking a penalty to draw his side further away from United. Three points were followed by five, as Quins' hammering of the United try-line enabled scrum-half Sam Stuart to dive over.

Botica's conversion from wide took the score to 22-8, with United needing to dig deep to get themselves back into the game. A penalty kick from inside centre Ludi Hopkinson took them into Quins' red zone. A topsy turvy passage of play –during which United somehow lost and then regained the ball in a matter of seconds – ended as fullback Marcus Beer cut inside and crashed over for a much-needed United try. 22-13.

After a ten-minute period of sustained pressure from Quins, United's next foray into opposition territory bore fruit for the omnipresent Biggs, whose run-in capped a very lively performance from the winger. Biggs' next touch of the ball was equally profitable for his side, as he burst out of his 22 and into Quins' half, showing some breathtaking speed in the process.

When the Quins player who finally managed to haul Biggs down failed to roll away, United scented a clear opportunity – Ludi Hopkinson striking the ball sweetly and making it 22-21.

Hopkinson was then gifted another shot at goal for a Quins ruck infringement, taking his side two points clear. 22-24.

Now the United comeback was complete, it was time to grab the result that had seemed so unlikely only ten minutes earlier. Quins fullback Charlie Walker did well to run his team out of the danger zone, following more precise kicking from Hopkinson, only for Walker's teammate to knock the ball forward into the hands of United second-row Will Spencer.

Spencer powered through before being dragged to the ground, only to pop the ball up to the supporting Beer, who in turn popped inside to replacement fullback Pete Laverick to score the clincher. Hopkinson added the extras to top off a marvellous comeback for the boys from the West Country.

Final Score: Harlequins A 22 – Bath United 31.

Bath United team to face Harlequins A

15. Marcus Beer

14. Chris Cook

13. Ben Williams 

12. Ludi Hopkinson

11. Tom Biggs 

10. Tom Heathcote 

9. Martin Roberts

1. Charlie Beech

2. Tom Dunn  

3. Kane Palma-Newport  

4. Will Spencer  

5. Charlie Ewells  

6. Tom Ellis  

7. Mat Gilbert  

8. Will Skuse    


16. Tom Woolstencroft 

17. Adam Jamieson

18. Greig Palmer

19. Freddie Clarke

20. Jake Oldaker

21. Alafoti Fa'osiliva

22. Ben Loosemore

23. Pete Laverick

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