Bath 17 Gloucester 21: Walker pulls plug on Bath

It had to end sooner or later, and yesterday the Gloucester faithful were rewarded after a wait of 20 years as at the 18th attempt their side won at Bath. In a tale of two fly-halves, Gloucester had the New Zealander Willie Walker and Bath had South Africa's Butch James, and the difference was immense.

James had a day to forget. The Springbok, a World Cup winner no less, had a dreadful time with the boot. His confidence evaporatedand after six minutes of the second half, when Bath were trailing 9-5, he even managed to fluff a penalty from in front of the posts. By that stage he had missed four kicks at goal.

How Bath missed Ollie Barkley. The goal-kicking stand-off has moved, of course, to Gloucester, although the Cherry and Whites did not feel hewas ready for this West Country derby. Instead, Dean Ryan, following last weekend's defeat against Leicester, demoted Ryan Lamb and introduced Walker at stand-off.

Walker made a decent job of it, looking far more at home than James and opening the scoring with a drop goal in the first minute as Gloucester took the game to Bath.

Even so, the home side took the lead after 11 minutes when James, from a penalty, punted to the corner. From a short line-out Johnny Faamatuainu made a burst for the line and although the No 8was stopped his captain, Michael Lipman, was on hand to score.

The Rec was in uproar when Gloucester's Peter Buxton then committed a high tackle on Nick Abendanon. It prompted a big dust-up in the forwards, but James missed the penalty. Walker then landed an easy kick to make it 6-5 after 24 minutes, and three minutes later James was again off- target. Walker struck an upright with a fairly simple drop-goal attempt, after which the Gloucester second-row Will James was sent to the sin-bin for use of the boot. The referee, Wayne Barnes, felt he had little option after earlier warning James for a contretemps with Justin Harrison.

Gloucester increased their lead to four points by the interval, Walker landing another penalty; Bath's James responded with a hopeless attempt at a drop goal from 50 metres.

Gloucester, enjoying territory and possession, were playing the better rugby, although Matt Banahan gave the crowd a lift with an encouraging kick and chase. Frustration, though, had the crowd giving their fly-half the bird, especially after he missed again in the 61st minute. Three minutes later Gloucester's No 8, Luke Narraway, broke down the short side, sold a dummy and galloped over from35 yards.

Gloucester were nine points up and Bath sent on a raft of replacements. What they did not have, however, was a replacement stand-off, and after 70 minutes James's nightmare took another twist when he had a kick charged down by Walker, who scored at the posts. Gloucester were surely now home and dry.

Not quite. Bath suddenly began to play some of the best rugby of the afternoon. First Joe Maddock went over in the right-hand corner and there was a huge, ironic cheer when Shaun Berne converted.

Bath were not finished. In the 84th minute Abendanon broke through for another try and suddenly Gloucester's lead was down to four points. They were grateful when another Bath attack broke down with a knock-on.

There was misery for Butch, then, but Gloucester's hole-in-the-wall gang took the spoils. They had waited long enough.

Bath: N Abendanon; J Maddock, T Cheeseman (S Berne, 65), E Fuimaono-Sapolu, M Banahan (J Cuthbert, 67); B James, M Claassens (S Bemand, 65); D Flatman (D Barnes, 51), L Mears (P Dixon, 68), M Stevens (D Bell, 68), J Harrison, P Short, S Hooper, J Faamatuainu (J Scaysbrook, 66), M Lipman (capt).

Gloucester: O Morgan (R Lamb, 79); J Simpson-Daniel, M Watkins, M Tindall (capt), L Vainikolo; W Walker, G Cooper (R Lawson, 52); N Wood (D Young, 62), O Azam (A Titterrell, 74), C Nieto, W James (M Bortolami, 51), A Brown, P Buxton, L Narraway, A Hazell (A Strokosch, 78).

Referee: W Barnes (London).


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map