Rugby: Bath break West spirit

West Hartlepool 16 Bath 24

Bath have never relished their trips to Brierton Lane after a memorable match there in 1994 when West outscored them three tries to two. Although Bath squeaked home 20-18, they had been given the fright of their lives by a West team who won a legion of admirers for their bravura and commitment.

Until Mike Catt put last night's result beyond doubt with Bath's third try, in the 68th minute, there was every sign West were going to go one better than on that heady afternoon 30 months ago to steal a game which Bath, at one stage, looked as if they would run away with.

It had not taken Bath long to underline their notional superiority by running in two early tries which, with both conversions and a penalty by Jon Callard, enabled them to open up a 17-point lead and leave West facing another of those drubbings which have been a feature of their relegation- haunted season.

West's porous defence which before Bath's visit had conceded 72 tries allowed Martin Haag a stroll to the posts for the 73rd. Jeremy Guscott delivered a sublime pass to Callard, who put Adedayo Adebayo over and Bath seemed in command.

But there were any number of alarms before Bath could be sure of replacing Leicester in second place in National League One. With better decision- making and without their earlier defensive lapses, it would have been West who had something notable to cheer about.

"I was disappointed that we started so well and then almost let it slip. But at this stage of the season no games can be considered easy as we nearly discovered to our cost," Clive Woodward, Bath's assistant coach, said.

Revealing some of the determination which once was their hallmark, West dug a foothold deep in Bath territory for Chris John to weight a grubber kick for Stephen John to squeeze in at the corner.

David Barnes claimed West's second try and, at 17-13 with 30 minutes to play, there was still plenty of time for West to mark their campaign with an upset. However, no sooner had Woodward sent on three replacements - including Simon Geoghegan for only his second League appearance of the season - than Catt struck the decisive blow. Callard's conversion went in off the upright and Bath, in spite of Chris John's late penalty, had done enough to keep their title ambitions intact.

West Hartlepool: Tries S John, Barnes; Penalties C John 2. Bath: Tries Haag, Adebayo, Catt; Conversions: Callard 3; Penalty: Callard.

West Hartlepool: M Silva; G Truelove, L Botham, J Connolly, S John; C John, B Ryan; D Barnes, A Peacock, W De Jonge (P Whitelock, 51), C Murphy, K Moseley, J Ions, R Earnshaw, I Morgan.

Bath: J Callard; J Sleightholme (S Geoghegan, 56), J Guscott, P De Glanville, A Adebayo; M Catt, C Harrison; K Yates, G Dawe, C Horsman (D Hilton, 56), M Haag, N Redman, A Robinson, R Webster (N Thomas, 56), D Lyle.

Referee: B Campsall.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower