Bath United narrowly defeated by Exeter Braves

Bath United fell to their first defeat of the season as the spirited Exeter Braves prevailed in a 32-27 thriller at the Recreation Ground.

The home side were quick to open their account, Tom Biggs darting over on four minutes for an uncoverted try. Braves' fly-half and captain Ceri Sweeney responded 12 minutes later with a penalty kick. 5-3.

The visitors' influential wing Fetu'u Vainikolo saw space with 10 minutes to go and ran in to score from inside his own half, his fly-half converting to make it 5-10.

United newcomer Saeed Agboke ensured that the home side went in at the break with some credit, however, when great handling by Gavin Henson and Ben Williams put the wing in at the corner.

Half-time: Bath United 10-13 Exeter Braves

The second half remained scoreless until the 52nd minute, when Braves number eight Kai Horstmann powered through from close range to score. With Sweeney on song with the boot, Braves led 13-20. 

A penalty from Tom Heathcote near the hour maker drew United to within a point of the visitors. Then, five minutes later, Agboke pounced on his opposite winger's decision to show him space on the outside, displaying searing pace to swerve round the defender to score United's third try. 24-20.

With five minutes remaining, Vainikolo scored again with a muscular effort to bring the match back in his side's favour. Sweeney converted, tipping the scoreboard back into Exeter's favour. United weren't finished either though, as Heathcote responded with a booming equalising penalty from just inside the Braves' half. 27-27.

It was the visitors who would have the final say of the night however, as Horstmann scored a near identical try to his first in the final play, ending United's hopes of remaining unbeaten in the Aviva A League. It ended a highly entertaining and competitive match between the two sides, whilst United look forward to travelling to London Irish next Monday to get back on track this season.

Final Score Bath United 27-32 Exeter Braves

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