Mallon's dash deepens Bath misery

Bath 9 Northampton 17

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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
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

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas