Cool Barkley puts Sale in stranglehold

Bath 27 - Sale 13

Bath took their biggest scalp of the season yesterday and in doing so helped knock Sale off the top of the Zurich Premiership. That lofty status now belongs back with Leicester, who claimed a full five points for their win at Worcester.

Bath took their biggest scalp of the season yesterday and in doing so helped knock Sale off the top of the Zurich Premiership. That lofty status now belongs back with Leicester, who claimed a full five points for their win at Worcester.

Bath's quaint and picturesque venue was full to its 10,500 capacity for the visit of a side that have played some outstanding rugby in the opening weeks of the season.

The match took place as England were preparing to take on Canada at Twickenham, a thought that may well have been in the mind of full-back Matthew Perry, who returned to first-team duties following his latest fightback from a series of injuries that stretched back three years.

Perry could have been forgiven for easing himself slowly into action. But instead of merely conducting defensive duties and occasional forays into the line he went looking for work at every opportunity and was among the players to catch the eye before being replaced in the 75th minute by Joe Maddock.

By that point Bath had the game won. The home flanker James Scaysbrook claimed the game's first score when he cut through the visiting defence to touchdown after six minutes.

The centre Olly Barkley added the conversion, the first of his seven successful shots at goal, and Bath were on their way. Penalties from Barkley in the 11th and 19th minutes emphasised the near exclusive territorial advantage they enjoyed during the opening period.

Bath's fly-half Chris Malone was largely to blame for Sale's lack of opportunity, punishing the visitors with a series of well placed tactical kicks

When the Sale full-back Chris Mayor failed to deal with what was perhaps the worst of Malone's kicks, the centre Alex Crockett rushed up and gathered before racing away to score and Barkley converted again.

Shortly before half-time the Sale fly-half Mike Hercus struck a penalty and then a lazy attempt at a clearance was charged down by flanker Magnus Lund, who latched on to possession before sprinting away unimpeded for the line.

Hercus converted and added another penalty. That opportunity came after the Bath captain Jonathan Humphries had been shown a yellow card for dragging down an advancing Sale maul.

However, any hopes Sale had of overhauling their hosts were dashed as Bath continued to thwart and frustrate them at every turn and Barkley stepped forward to kick the three second-half penalties that ended the contest. Sale also had Lund sent to the sin bin in the dying minutes for killing the ball.

Bath: M Perry (J Maddock, 75); F Welsh (S Davey, 79), A Crockett, O Barkley, B Daniel; C Malone, N Walshe (M Baxter, 79); D Barnes, J Humphreys (capt; L Mears, 26-31 & 79), D Bell (C Loader, 79), J Hudson, R Fidler (D Smith, 79), J Scaysbrook, I Feaunati, M Lipman (G Lewis, 18-26; Mears, 47-50; Lewis 75).

Sale: R Todd; J Moore, J Baxendall (R Wigglesworth, 79), C Rhys-Jones, C Mayor; M Hercus, S Martens; S Turner (S Bozzi, 79), J Roddam, B Stewart, C Day, D Schofield, C Jones (P Caillet, 58), S Chabal, M Lund.

Referee: W Barnes (RFU).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'