Bath United recorded a second win in a row as they edged out Harlequins A 22-21 in a friendly at the Rec.
Quins proved difficult to contest with at scrum time in the early exchanges and grabbed their first score off the back of a successful set-piece.
Taking a short line off scrum-half Lewis Gjaltema, USA international Paul Lasike powered home to open the scoring – a try which was simply converted by Brett Herron.
The visitors continued on the front foot from the kick-off but Bath gained some momentum from resilient defending. A superb defensive maul stopped Harlequins in their tracks before Gabe Goss’ excellent tackle deep in opposition territory forced a turnover.
Soon after, United earned their first try. Captain Tom Ellis bumped off a Quins man and freed his hands to delicately offload to wing Goss who sped in for five points.
Goss turned provider 10 minutes later as Bath grasped the game by the scruff of its neck. Semesa Rokoduguni’s magic footwork fooled several players and when he set Goss on a trot, Ollie Fox was on his shoulder to finish off a well-worked move.
Fly-half George Worboys converted expertly on the angle to give the hosts a 12-7 lead, however the scoreboard turned in Quins’ favour once more on the half-time whistle as Lasike rumbled home for his second.
Bath didn’t let the score dampen their spirits and went straight on the attack in the second half. Locks Will Spencer and Ewan Richards combined in the midfield and the latter bamboozled a couple of Quins defenders on a 40-metre dash up-field.
The Blue, Black and White’s persistence eventually paid off on 51 minutes. Max Ojomoh’s awareness and leg drive saw him break clear on a beautiful arcing run and he released Max Wright on a free trot to the corner. Worboys added the extras with another stunning shot from the tee.
As was the topsy turvy nature to the match, Quins were next to strike. Lasike carried hard in the 22 and from the resulting ruck, Jack Stafford sniped quickly to slide over the whitewash and present Herron with an easy conversion to make it 21-19 to the Londoners.
Harlequins were then reduced to 14 men when prop Santiago Garcia Botta threw a punch which misconnected and from the penalty, Bath kicked to the corner to give themselves a platform to build off.
Pick and go after pick and go saw the hosts come within inches and they thought they had battled their way over, only for Ojomoh to be turned on his back as he burrowed towards the line.
Referee George Selwood went back for a penalty for a Quins infringement a few phases previous and Worboys clipped over the sticks from close range to put Bath back ahead with just three minutes remaining.
Herron missed an opportunity for a three-point return moments later and Bath’s game management in closing stages saw them earn a narrow victory.