Mallon's dash deepens Bath misery
Bath 9 Northampton 17
Sunday 11 September 2005
It took a 65-metre interception try from the centre Seamus Mallon to kill off the contest in the 73rd minute, but any other result would have done an injustice to the visitors.
The Saints set off with pace on a dry, balmy afternoon. But the first half ended amid a sustained opening of the heavens that caused a tactical reassessment for both sides.
Spencer looked full of verve and vitality in the opening exchanges, prompting his team-mates with deft touches and an eye for the chance. That approach brought an early reward as Bath's latest recruit, Salesi Finau, killed the ball in the third minute. It was the wing's first touch after leaving Llanelli Scarlets.
Watching Bruce Reihana kicking the resultant penalty rubbed salt into Finau's wounds, as he did so from the sin-bin courtesy of the referee David Rose's decisive attitude towards the Tongan's professional foul.
Olly Barkley equalised after seven minutes before he and Reihana, the Saints captain, traded another shot each at goal, the Bath centre's effort coming while the Saints No 8 Daniel Browne was in the sin-bin for a dangerous charge on James Scaysbrook at a ruck.
Having played with a little more adventure and applied the greater pressure, the visitors deserved the 9-6 half-time lead that Reihana's third penalty brought. Bath were ruing Barkley's three fluffed efforts in reply.
The centre's yips prompted Bath to ask their Australian fly-half Chris Malone to take the first post-break pot at the posts, but after he hit an upright the responsibility was returned to Barkley, who responded to Reihana's fourth success by finding his range and target. That made the score 12-9 to the visitors.
Barkley's attempt to level the scores might well make it on to television screens as a bit of a bloomer, the ball ending up only 10 metres ahead of the point from which it was kicked and at the feet of an opponent.
But Malone had to claim the blame for the game's defining moment as he gifted a pass to Mallon. The ex-Ulster player had the pace to dash untouched to the line for the score that killed off Bath's hopes of a comeback.
The hosts finished the game as they started it, a man down, this time without the England lock Danny Grewcock, who was sent to the sin-bin for stamping, on the advice of a touch judge.
Bath: M Perry (R Davis, 40-48); S Finau, A Higgins, O Barkley, F Welsh; C Malone (A Dunne, 73), M Wood; D Barnes (M Stevens, 59), L Mears, D Bell, S Borthwick (capt; R Fidler, 32-40; 58-62), D Grewcock, A Beattie, I Fea'unati (G Delve, 70), J Scaysbrook.
Northampton: B Reihana (capt); S Lamont, J Clarke, S Mallon, B Cohen; C Spencer, M Robinson; T Smith, D Hartley (S Thompson, 40), B Sturgess (C Budgen, 64), M Lord, Damien Browne, M Soden, Daniel Browne (B Lewitt, 59), D Fox.
Referee: D Rose (Warwickshire).
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners will only consider 'astronomical offer' from Atletico Madrid for Santi Cazorla
Chelsea transfer news: Diego Costa wants a reunion with £25m Manchester United target Arda Turan... because he loves his kebabs
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture