Rugby Union / Round-up: Chilcott sent off in style by grateful Bath

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FEELINGS ran high at the Recreation Ground as Gareth Chilcott played his last match in front of his adoring Bath crowd. It was all too much for the visitors, Newcastle Gosforth. Decimated by injuries before the game, they were further wounded by Bath's awesome 46-3 victory, which took the home side four points clear at the top of Division One.

Chilcott, in his 371st game for the side, was Bath's sentimental hero, and he was even allowed the glory of a 57th minute conversion of Jon Bamsey's try - from right in front of the posts. 'It has been an emotional day', Chilcott said later. 'It was nice to get my first ever conversion for Bath in my last match at this ground, and the crowd gave me a great send-off.' Jon Callard, who may be heading for the international stage as Chilcott heads for the panto stage, contributed an assured performance, landing seven out of 10 kicks despite wet, muddy conditions.

After their narrow defeat by Orrell last week, Bristol made a number of changes for the visit of Gloucester, and one of the replacements, Ralph Knibbs scored the game's only try as the home side won 16-12.

Moseley's Midlands lock Steve Lloyd was sent off for kicking after only six minutes of his side's second division game against Sale at The Reddings. But the team struggled on without him and prevailed 9-3.

In Wales, Pontypridd's continuing challenge to get among the big boys met a major setback after just minutes, when Llanelli's Colin Stephens dropped a goal from a ruck in front of the posts and, at the same ruck, Greg Prosser, the Pontypridd lock, was sent off at the say-so of the touch judge for stamping. None the less, Pontypridd, in foul conditions, fought a brave rearguard action and succeeded in giving Llanelli quite a fright, if not in avoiding an 8-6 defeat. The Llanelli problem was at half-back, where Rupert Moon once again failed to exert his authority despite a steady stream of possession and fly half Colin Stephens kicked poorly. Llanelli's Scott Quinnell once again showed his terrific potential, but his hard driving play and good hands were among the few redeeming features of a messy game. A further fright for Llanelli came late in the game when Ieuan Evans was stretchered from the field and taken to hospital for an X-ray; but his ankle was not broken.