University of Bath were beaten 12-31 in their BUCS Super League derby against Hartpury College on Wednesday evening at Melksham RFC.
Team Bath were put under extensive pressure from kick-off but managed to defend their line resolutely to keep Hartpury at bay. However a lapse in concentration led to the Blue and Gold's conceding a penalty, which Hartpury fly-half Nathan Chamberlain slotted over from the halfway line. [0-3]
It was the home side who then enjoyed a spell of possession for the next ten minutes but they were unable to make much progress into the Hartpury half, but it was the visitors who went through to score the first try of the game. Bath spread the play wide but had a pass picked out the air by centre Robbie Smith who went through to score. Chamberlain added the extras. [0-10]
Hartpury were back on the board when hooker Bertie Stretch showed an impressive turn of pace and made his way through the Bath defence to dot down before the half-hour mark. Chamberlain again added the extras. [0-17]
Bath managed to get themselves onto the scoreboard with the resulting penalty from a late tackle on Benn Morris which was kicked to the corner and lock Edoardo Balocco bulldozed over from the line-out drive. [5-17]
Tom Pittman, who was moved from centre to cover for Morris, pulled the conversion wide and then just moments later had a clearing kick charged down at the other end by Stephen Varney who pounced on the loose ball to get Hartpury’s bonus-point try. Chamberlain’s conversion left Bath trailing 5-24 at half-time. [5-24]
Half-time - University of Bath 5-24 Hartpury College
Hartpury continued to bridge a gap between the two sides just three minutes after the break as Hartpury prop Mitch Walsh powered over under the posts to leave Chamberlain with a simple conversion. [5-31]
Team Bath kept plugging away in worsening conditions, despite losing more players to injury and having to use players out of position and were eventually rewarded with ten minutes remaining. As with their first try, it came from a line-out rolling maul which ended with Chris Barry burrowing over and Pittman kicking the extras. [12-31]
Full-time - University of Bath 31-12 Hartpury College
Next up for Team Bath, is a visit to Leeds Beckett on Wednesday 30 October.