Bath United held on for a 20-17 Aviva A League victory over Wasps A in an entertaining encounter at the Recreation Ground this evening.
Whilst Wasps had the chance to go ahead early on - they opted for the lineout, which was subsequently stolen by Dave Attwood - it was the home side that showed signs of early dominance up front. With what looked like the first score ruled out by referee Shane Lewis, a second driving maul close to the touchline saw Dan Frost cross the try line under a pile of bodies. Laurence May added the extra two points. 7-0.
Five minutes later, and United had once more breached the Wasps whitewash. The set-piece was again the weapon of choice – the lineout setting up a series of drives, and allowing Max Clark to spin out of the tackle and score from close range. 12-0.
Wasps reduced the deficit on 21 minutes with a penalty from the boot of Alex Lozowski, but the home side were still enjoying large periods of possession and, subsequently, control of the game.
With just under five minutes remaining of the half, the visitors found themselves down to 14 men after Guy Thompson saw yellow for a late hit. Three minutes later and the pack were again showing their strength by drawing a penalty at the scrum – May sent to ball sailing through the posts.
Half-time: Bath United 15 – Wasps A 3.
The forwards showed no signs of relinquishing the upper hand they held, with the maul leading to another try – Aaron Carpenter the scorer – just six minutes into the second-half. 20-3.
Wasps put up a valiant fight though, stretching the defence in the 51st minute and working patiently through the phases before Ben Jacobs found space out wide to cross for the try. Lozowski converted, making it a ten point difference between the two sides.
Buoyed on by their score, Wasps rallied and forced their way back into the game as it drew to a close. Fullback Owain James was on hand to give them something to show for their efforts, beating Clark in the footrace to score after a charge down in the United 22. Lozowski was again on target with the conversion, 20-17.
Fittingly, it was the United pack who had the last say in the game. With time up on the clock, they drove Wasps back with another tremendous scrum and earnt the penalty, which May sent sailing in to touch to seal the win.
Final score: Bath United 20 – Wasps A 17.
Bath United team to face Wasps A
15. Darren Atkins
14. Liam Forsyth
13. Max Clark
12. Brett Herron
11. Jeff Williams
10. Laurence May
9. Will Homer
1. Nick Auterac
2. Dan Frost
3. Kane Palma-Newport ( c )
4. Alex Humfrey
5. Dave Attwood
6. Levi Douglas
7. Max Northcote-Green
8. Aaron Carpenter
16. Billy Harding
17. Beno Obano
18. Jack Edmondson
19. Will Britton
20. Pat Jenkinson
21. Cameron Brown
22. Chay Smith
23. Levi Davis