Bath moved into the top four of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday as they edged to a 12-9 victory over Exeter at Sandy Park.
Bath moved into the top four of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday as they edged to a12-9 victory over Exeter.
In a try-less yet entertaining West Country derby, another flawless kicking display Olly Barkley sealed a fifth successive win in the Premiership for Steve Meehan's men.
Barkley kicked four goals from four, the match-winning kick coming three minutes from time after Chiefs prop Chris Budgen was penalised by referee David Rose for coming in at the side.
The Chiefs, unchanged from the previous week's win at Newcastle, dominated possession and territory and came closest to a try in the first half.
But Bath's defence, the meanest in the Premiership, remained defiant with a covering tackle from Ben Skirving denying Matt Jess in the early stages. Luke Arscott's scything run through the middle threatened to open Bath up, however Barkley tracked back well to intercept a Chiefs pass inside his own 22 and then cleared the danger.
The sell-out crowd were able to celebrate a 9-6 interval lead, though, managing three penalties from Gareth Steenson to two from Barkley.
Bath came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and drew level through Barkley's third penalty. Steenson then misjudged the stiff wind at Sandy Park to send two kicks wide of the right upright. The misses proved crucial as Barkley kept his nerve to kick the match-winning penalty in front of the posts. It was the England international's 15th successful kick in a row and takes Bath into the top four.
Pen: Steenson 3
Pen: Barkley 4
Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Sireli Naqelevuki, 11 Nic Sestaret, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Chris Budgen, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Ignacio Elosu, 19 Chad Slade, 20 James Phillips, 21 Junior Poluleuligaga, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Nemani Nadolo.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Jack Cuthbert, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Luke Watson (capt), 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Barnes, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Nick Scott.
Referee: David Rose