Richard Lane scored a hatrick this evening as Bath United produced a strong performance in their latest Aviva A League outing, running out resounding 44-5 winners over London Irish A.
United started brightly and showed an early dominance with the opening scrums, the backs taking only six minutes to capitalise on the great work by the forward pack.
A well taken lineout deep in the Irish half was followed by a neat cross-field chip from Rory Jennings, with Richard Lane collecting the ball and beating the last man to score in the corner. 5-0.
A further 20 minutes in control saw another succession of strong scrummages lead to United's second try of the game. Good work at the breakdown saw United cross the line twice, only for the referee to deem that the ball had been held up. After a couple of frustrating phases United finally made the breakthrough with Guy Mercer picking the ball up from the base of the ruck and firing a pass out wide to Horacio Agulla who crossed the line unopposed. 10-0.
A third try was added seven minutes later when Sam Burgess made a powerful run, bursting through the Irish defence before offloading to Olly Woodburn, who showed quick hands to get the ball to Darren Atkins for his debut try in the corner. 15-0.
The home side continued to dictate the play. Will Homer broke quickly, bursting past two Irish defenders and finding Sam Burgess on his shoulder in support. Burgess gathered the ball and powered towards the line unopposed.
Half-time: Bath United 20 – London Irish A 0.
United started the second half much as they did the first, dominating the early phases of play, and it wasn't long before Lane scored his second of the night. A flowing move from the backs saw Woodburn and Agulla bypass a couple of defenders before offloading to the hands of Lane, who handed off the defender and went over in the corner. 25-0.
Just under 10 minutes later Lane scored his hat-trick try. Ollie Devoto provided the offload, and Lane cut a superb line to come inside the defender and score between the posts. Devoto added the extras, taking the lead to 32-0.
Despite the advantage on the scoreboard, Irish were battling their way back into the game, enjoying a good spell of possession in the Bath half. The home defence stood firm however, and a delicate chip through from Jennings on 67 minutes saw replacement Marcus Beer gather the ball under pressure and get the ball down over the line. Homer added the conversion, 39-5.
A scintillating break from Irish replacement Gary Johnston saw the scrum-half record the visitors' only points of the nights – speeding away from the defence and busting through Homer's tackle. 39-5.
The final score of the night saw replacement Callum Waters score a typical scrum-half try. Woodburn had shirked off the defence to break through, only to be held just short of the line. Waters picked up and the ball and sniped over the line to seal the victory.
Final score: Bath United 44 – London Irish A 5.