Last-gasp hero James cleans up for Bath

Bath 25 Leicester 21
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The Independent Online

Bath extended their lead in the Guinness Premiership table with a thrilling finale to this rugged clash at The Recreation Ground. Having led from the eighth minute, Bath looked to have lost against second-placed Leicester when Tigers hooker Mefin Davies went over in the seventh minute of added time with the home team down to 14 men. Geordan Murphy's conversion nosed Leicester ahead by a single point.

The missing man, hooker Pieter Dixon, returned and Bath hammered away for the next five minutes. With 32 seconds on the countdown clock, fly-half Butch James launched a cross kick to the right wing. Bath captain Alex Crockett raced down the line, collected the ball and jinked inside trying to beat the Leicester cover.

When he saw there was no way through he turned and launched an overhead pass to James who knifed across the face of the Tigers defence and dived jubilantly over for the unconverted, winning try.

Dixon, the villain of the second half, was the hero of the first with a wonderful 45 metre sprint upfield for Bath's opening try, and on his run-in he delivered a couple of severe hand-offs to would-be tacklers.

The No 8 Daniel Browne added a second try from a five metre scrum and with James having landed two penalties and two conversions victory looked a formality.

However, Tigers dug in with Derrick Hougaard adding a third penalty. Johne Murphy's 64th-minute try then set things up nicely for the pulsating climax.