Northampton beat 14-man Bath to win Premiership final

Ollie Sleightholme was one of the try scorer for Northampton
Ollie Sleightholme was one of the try scorer for Northampton

Northampton Saints 25-21 Bath Rugby, Twickenham Stadium

Northampton Saints clinched the Premiership title for the first time in 10 years as they edged out a valiant Bath 25-21 at Twickenham.

Bath's chances were dented when Beno Obano was sent-off at the start of the second quarter but they put on a brave fight until Alex Mitchell's 75th-minute try sealed the game for the Saints as they gave a perfect fairytale to Courtney Lawes, Alex Waller and co.

Bath had an early opportunity to score but Finn Russell's sixth-minute penalty goal drifted wide but he made amends with a 10m kick in the 8th minute to start the proceedings.

Bath looked threatening with Will Muir looking to score but he was superbly tackled into touch by Tommy Freeman. Fin Smith, like Russell, missed his first shot at goal but the fly-half kicked a drop goal in the 19th minute to level the scores.

Bath's confidence took a hit as Obano was shown a red card for a high tackle on number eight Juarno Augustus as Northampton made full use of the numerical advantage with a slick move from Furbank allowing Tommy Freeman to touchdown. Again, Furbank played a vital role in setting up Ollie Sleightholme, who collected his stab through, to make it 15-3.

On the stroke of half time, Bath narrowed the gap to five points after Thomas du Toit went over at the back of a rolling maul and Russell followed with the conversion.

The start of the second half saw Russell and Smith exchange penalty goals before the scores were levelled by the 50th minute with Muir collecting a crossfield kick from Ben Spencer to dot down. Russell's conversion drifted wide.

Bath went into the lead for the first time as Russell kicked a three-pointer in the 66th minute making it 18-21 but the decisive moment came in the 72nd minute with George Hendy breaching the Bath defence to send Mitchell over the line and Furbank's conversion sealed the title for the Saints.

Team line-ups:

Northampton: Furbank; Freeman, Odendaal, Dingwall, Sleightholme; Smith, Mitchell; Waller, Langdon, Davison, Moon, Coles, Lawes (c), Pearson, Augustus.

Replacements: Matavesi, Iyogun, Mills, Mayanavanua, Graham, Ludlam, James, Hendy.

Bath: Gallagher; Cokanasiga, Lawrence, Redpath, Muir; Russell, Spencer (c); Obano, Dunn, Du Toit, Roux, Ewels, Hill, Underhill, Barbeary.

Replacements: Annett, Schoeman, Stuart, Stooke, Bayliss, Schreuder, Bailey, Reid.

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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