Falcons put an end to Bath's golden run

Newcastle 19 Bath 17

It will be the end of the season before we will know if John Connolly has sparked a revolution at Bath or if their early-season form has been no more than a mini-revival after the horrors of last May, when they escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth, beating Newcastle in the final game.

Connolly was yesterday understandably disappointed at the manner of Bath's first defeat of the season, even if his team still sit at the top of the Premiership table. "We have the right mental attitude," he said, "and we're still a good side, even if defeat hurts. But we'll bounce back."

Since Connolly's arrival in the summer, Bath have undergone a remarkable transformation. Even without Danny Grewcock, their pack are as formidable as any in the Premiership. When all their backs return from the World Cup they could be some side, and perhaps then we shall see the Bath of old.

However their forwards made a strangely muted start at Kingston Park yesterday and nearly conceded an early try when Hugh Vyvyan almost squeezed in at the left corner. Once they established a foothold in Newcastle territory, Olly Barkley banged over a short penalty, to equal Dave Walder's first strike on 10 minutes.

Barkley kicked another to tie the scores after Walder's second. By then Newcastle had lost their scrum-half, Hall Charlton, with a head injury. But for a side unbeaten in their opening six games, Bath looked bereft of attacking ideas or the craft needed to open up the Falcons' defence. Not that Newcastle were notably superior in that department, but at least they made every effort to create some space for their runners. The tryless half finished with Walder and Barkley missing with penalties, though Walder was then on target from 40 metres, to leave the Falcons 9-6 ahead at the break.

From the restart what had been a game on the somnambulant side of dreary sprung to life. Isaac Feau'nati began the fun with a try from an overlap to give Bath the lead for the first time in the match. But Matt Perry spoiled the good work of his forwards by making an awful hash of a speculative kick and chase from Mark Mayerhofler. Replacement flanker Phil Dowson made the most of Jamie Noon's tackle on the Bath full-back and bagged a try which turned likely defeat into victory. Walder's conversion and a fourth penalty sealed it for the Falcons.

Newcastle: D Walder; T May, J Noon, M Mayerhofler, M Stephenson; P Godman, H Charlton (J Grindal, 19); I Peel (D Wilson, h-t), N Makin, M Ward, G Archer, C Hamilton (P Dowson, 67), J Dunbar (E Taione, 74), W Britz, H Vyvyan (capt).

Bath: M Perry (R Blake, 70); A Higgins, A Crockett (G Knox, 65), O Barkley, B Daniel (J Williams, 54); C Malone, M Wood; D Flatman, J Humphreys (capt; L Mears, 52), D Bell (M Stevens, 39), S Borthwick, R Fidler, A Beattie, M Lipman, I Feau'nati.

Referee: D Thompson (Ashington).

Suggested Topics

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London