Sunday, 9 May 2010


Ok time for a bit of 'What Not' in that, overlooking Hampshire's continued failings and Middlesex's confirmation of Hampshire's crapness, I finally saw a victory yesterday. No not on a cricket pitch but on a rectangle field in the wind and occasionally driving rain (hence why I couldn't join in your chat, Wes, sorry!). Truly the season of two halves, as the mighty Bath ran in 5 tries against woeful Leeds to secure a spot on the play-offs next week. It has been a remarkable reversal of fortunes. From September until Christmas day, Bath had played 10 Premiership games. They had won 1, drawn 2 and lost 7, and sat second from bottom and only 2 points away from relegation. What followed was thus: A win against Gloucester (our first home win of the season), a win away to Leeds (who were bottom of the table), a bonus point win at London Irish, a bonus point win at home to Worcester, a win at Saracens, a win at Newcastle, a win at home to Harlequins, the one defeat away to Leicester, a bonus point win at home to Sale, a win at home to Northampton, a bonus point win away to Wasps and a bonus point win yesterday. Making the post-Christmas record 12 matches played, 11 games won, and 49 points accrued.

So from 11th (second-bottom), Bath finished the season in 4th, and a trip to Leicester awaits in the semi-finals (next saturday). It was quite a miss-match yesterday. No points were scored in the first 20 minutes but from there Bath took control. A series of scrums close to the line broke down Leeds, with Butch James and Barkley spinning it out wide for Abendanon to score in the corner. This was soon followed by another try, and Watson broke from another scrum, passed to Claassens, who dummied and ran in under the posts. A further penalty made in 17-0 at half time. A couple of penalties were exchanged before Matt Banahan stormed down the wing shrugging off two would-be tacklers and diving in in the corner. Then followed the try of the match, as Claassens and Banahan moved the ball from right to left on half-way, Barkley cut back, offloading to Abendanon who brought it from left to right, Dixon cut through the defence, then quick handling from James and Barkley saw Abendanon with the ball on the right touchline about 20 metres out. Leeds openside, Oakley, appeared to have Abendanon covered, but managed to let him turn and slip past with literally centimetres between him and the touchline. Abendanon then dived in to score the 4th try.

Another well played move down the right sent try machine Maddock in for the 5th try and his 46th and final try for the club. Final score 39-3.

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