Catt runs Quins ragged to inflict record loss

Bath cleary believe that if the Premiership is going to be decided on points and tries then they will be in with a big shout. The West Country thoroughbreds, who have hardly put a foot wrong since losing to Gloucester in the Tetley's Bitter Cup at the beginning of January, ran in 10 tries and in the process inflicted upon Harlequins a record defeat. In 1902, Quins had gone down to Oxford University 50-0, but the tries, and the players, were worth a lot less in those days.

The sun beat down on the Recreation Ground and a cap-acity crowd of 8,700, who retrieved their shirtsleeves out of mothballs for the occasion, lapped it up. Bath, of course, were in their element and none more so than Mike Catt. The stand-off looked as if he was playing in a Sevens tournament and, indeed, that was how he and his runners, and there are enough of them in this side, played it from the start.

They maintained the pressure on Leicester in the race for the Premiership - the clubs collide in an end-of-season dust-up on 21 May - with their ninth League win in a row.

It was vintage Bath and the only false note on another great afternoon for the club was the performance of the referee, Robin Goodliffe. Against such a scoreline, it seems churlish to question his decisions, but the fact remains that, although Bath do not need any pointers in enjoying the good life, and yesterday certainly needed no assistance from the referee, they got it none the less.

And he was particularly generous towards them when the match was being closely contested. For example, Quins had just scored a brilliant try of their own to make it 17-14 when Mike Tindall scored Bath's third try, though the move contained a pass that was not so much forward as precocious. It enabled Bath to finish the first half with 17 points in six minutes.

Leading 34-14 at the interval, they ran riot in the second half with six more tries. It was a marvellous display of pace and skill and before the end, when Lee Mears, the replacement hooker, sauntered over after finding himself at the end of an overlap the size of the Bristol Channel, Quins had run out of legs and defenders.

The London club, out of form, out of luck and out of every end-of-season hunt for silverware, did not go as quietly as the score suggests. Having conceded 50 points to Saracens on Easter Monday, they set out to give Bath a match and succeeded in doing so for an hour.

Bath were 10-0 up after 15 minutes, Dan Lyle breaking a couple of tackles and handing off Ben Gollings for the first try. Gollings has a lot to learn in defence, but showed enough in attack to suggest that he could become something special. The 19-year-old Cornishman bought a dummy by Catt, which resulted in a score for the stand-off, before scoring a try that even Bath would have admired. Brendon Daniel, who scored Quins' first try, made a midfield break before finding Gollings with an inside pass. The young fullback side-stepped Matt Perry and sprinted over from 45 yards.

Daren O'Leary opened the second half for Quins with their third try, and it did not look as if the stage was set for a massacre. But that is what we got as Bath stepped up the pace. For good measure from Mr Goodliffe, they were awarded a penalty try. It's called overkill.

Bath: M Perry; I Balshaw, K Maggs, P De Glanville (A Adebayo, 48), M Tindall; M Catt (S Berne, 62) J Preston (G Cooper, 58); V Ubogu (C Horsman, 69), M Regan (L Mears, 71) J Mallett, M Haag, S Borthwick, A Gardiner (G Thomas, 60), B Clarke (capt), D Lyle (B Sturnham, 54).

Harlequins: B Gollings; D O'Leary, G Delmotte, N Greenstock, B Daniel; G Rees (R Liley, 62), P Richards (H Harries, 71); D Barnes, C Ridgeway, J Leonard, G Llewellyn (capt), G Morgan, A Leach, C Shearsby, P Sanderson (R Jenkins, 60).

Referee: R Goodliffe (Yorkshire).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape