Bath picked up a vital 13-12 win on the road at London Irish as the West Countrymen were successful at Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
Bath picked up a 13-12 win on the road at London Irish as the West Country side were successful on Saturday.
London Irish headed into the match looking to record their fifth victory in six Aviva Premiership outings and their visitors were in good form too, having sealed back-to-back wins in the LV= Cup.
The Exiles pack dominated the early exchanges and were winning the battle up front, but it was Bath who led at the interval through an unconverted Sam Vesty try on 36 minutes. The utility back spotted a gap in the Irish line after quick hands had created the opportunity, with the score coming minutes after Delon Armitage had been dispatched to the sin-bin for the home side.
Bath took their lead with them in to the interval but it took barely five minutes following the restart for London Irish to edge in front through two Tom Homer penalties.
The Exiles had started the second period strongly but Bath regrouped and were able to build pressure, which would eventually result in them regaining their advantage. D
Dave Attwood was the man to add the visitors' second try, which was rubber-stamped by a video referee decision. Bath were off the mark with the extras once again but they held a four-point league. The final result would be decided by the boot.
Two more Exiles penalties from Homer put the home side in front and had Bath ruing their missed conversions, but a penalty goal from try-scorer Vesty in the dying minutes following an infringement by Shontayne Hape won the day for the visitors.
For London Irish:
Pen: Homer 4
Tries: Vesty, Attwood
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Tom Homer,10 Dan Bowden (c), 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 James Sandford, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Adam Thompstone, 22 Steve Shingler, 23 Ross Samson.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 David Wilson, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Andy Beattie, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Jack Cuthbert.
Referee: David Rose