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Ospreys steal late win at the Rec

Ospreys stole a late 10-13 win over Bath Rugby at the Recreation Ground this afternoon in the final round of the LV= Cup, ending the home sides hopes of qualification to the knock-out stages.

After an evenly matched opening quarter, Richard Lane got Bath on the scoreboard. Tom Ellis had gathered on to a loose ball, allowing Horacio Agulla, making his 50th appearance for the home side, to carve a sweeping run through the Ospreys defence. Ollie Devoto found Sam Burgess in space, and the centre put in a clever chip ahead for Lane to pounce on to and slide over the line. 5-0.

A Sam Davies penalty five minutes later saw the visitors record their first points of the game. The Welsh region had been battling at the try line, and referee Dean Richards decided that Stuart Hooper had infringed in the red zone, awarding the penalty and showing a yellow card to Bath's captain.

The Bath set-piece was largely dominant, providing a strong platform from which the home side could attack. Opsreys looshead Marc Thomas found himself spending 10 minutes on the sideline after a similar offence to Hooper's, and the extra man advantage allowed Bath to get their next score. Another powerful drive from the lineout sent Max Lahiff powering over from short range for his first try in Bath colours with five minutes remaining of the first-half.

Half-time score: 10-3.

The second-half started in a similar fashion to the first, with neither side being able to work out a way to gain the advantage.

The intent was clear from the home side, with kicks at goal turned down in favour of kicks to touch and a chance to cross the tryline. Bath spent large periods of the second 40 hammering at the Ospreys 22, but the visiting defence stood strong, soaking up wave after wave of pressure. A yellow card to Aisea Natoga for a deliberate knock-on saw the Ospreys again reduced to 14 men, but Bath were unable to capitalise, despite their forward dominance.

A penalty from Davies 10 minutes from time reduced the deficit to four minutes, and the chance at victory lifted the Welsh region. An infringement from Bath on the half-way line enabled Davies to break, dart through the defence and offload to replacement Matthew Dwyer who was on his shoulder. The hooker charged over the line from close range, and with Davies' conversion, the score won the game for the visitors at the death.

Final score: 10-13.

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