Match Centre: Bristol Bears 25-20 Bath Rugby

Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam
Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam
©Steve Haag

Bristol Bears 25-20 Bath Rugby, Ashton Gate

Bristol Bears managed to hold off Bath Rugby as they sealed a 25-20 victory in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership at Ashton Gate on Friday.

This is Bristol's first win of the season in three games as they moved to the ninth position in the table while Bath are at 11th place after losing all their three matches.

Fly-half Callum Sheedy kicked an early seventh minute penalty goal to the start the proceedings for Bristol but Bath's response came through Will Muir as he touched down at the end of the first quarter and Orlando Bailey followed with a conversion and a penalty goal in the 18th and 28th minutes respectively making the scoreline 3-10.

Around the half hour mark, Steven Luatua's dummy breached the defence of Bath before he went over the line and Sheedy missed the conversion as the gap between the sides remained at two points.

Nevertheless, Stuart Hooper's men extended their lead heading into the break when a quick pass across the midfield allowed Semesa Rokoduguni to dot down but this time Bailey missed the conversion as the teams completed the opening half with a 8-15 scoreline.

Sheedy with his second penalty goal early in the second half helped Bristol narrow down the deficit to four points but Bath looked dominant with Muir collecting an excellent diagonal kick to score his second in the 51st minute and the extras from Bailey went wide as the scoreline became 11-20.

The decisive moment in the game came in the 58th minute as Bath lost Tom Ellis to sin-bin for collapsing a maul that also resulted in a penalty try for the Bears bringing the gap down to two points. Repeated infringements hampered the progress of the visitors as they lost Tom Dunn also to sin-bin in the 68th minute for taking down a Bristol maul and Jake Kerr scored the second try for Bristol that Sheedy improved to seal a thrilling five-point victory.

Bristol Bears will be facing Harlequins in the fourth round on 8th October while Bath's next game will be on 17th October when they host Saracens at Recreation Ground.

Team line up:

Bristol XV: Piutau; Lloyd, O'Conor, Bedlow, Purdy; Sheedy, Randall; Thomas, Capon, Sinckler, Holmes, Joyce, Vui, Heenan, Luatua

Reserves: Kerr, Woolmore, Lahiff, Harding, Thomas, Uren, Frisch, Leiua.

Bath XV: De Glanville; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Ojomoh, Muir; Bailey, Fox; Obano, Du Toit, Stuart, McNally, Ewels, Ellis, Underhill, Bayliss.

Reserves: Dunn, Boyce, Rae, Williams, Reid, Green, Clark, Watson.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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