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Ford boots away Exeter

30th November 2013 17:19

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Fend: Luke Arscott

Bath fly-half George Ford kicked 21 points with the boot - including six penalties - as the hosts saw off Exeter Chiefs at The Rec.

Exeter scored the only tries of a rousing West Country derby that could easily have gone either way. However man-of-the-match Ford's coolness in front of goal was just enough to hand third-placed Bath their seventh win of the season.

Exeter flew out of the blocks on a crisp winter's day at The Recreation Ground, and they were rewarded for their attacking endeavour when Gareth Steenson slotted the first points following a Jack Nowell break.

Ford cancelled out the kick with a penalty before the Chiefs scored a superb try through second-row Damian Welch.

Matt Jess' arcing run saw him take the ball from his inside his own half to the edge of the Bath 22 where he found Welch with a well-timed pass. Welch's pace took him past Peter Stringer and Matt Garvey and before he used his entire 6 foot 6 inch frame to reach out and touch the line despite being hauled down short by Bath full-back Anthony Watson.

Two more penalties from Ford gave Bath a one-point lead at the break.

Bath enjoyed their best attacking period of the match at the start of the second half with wing Horacio Agulla prominent. Ford's fourth penalty was all they had to show for their efforts,however.

Exeter managed to bag another fine try through Welch's second-row partner, Dean Mumm. Not to be outdone by Welch, the impressive Australian opened his legs to outstrip the cover defence and dot down his own hack forward after Ford had spilled a pass under pressure.

Steenson was again unable to convert and the Irishman went on to miss two further kicks at goal.

By contrast, Ford enjoyed a fine day off the kicking tee and saw Bath home with two more penalties and a drop goal.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Pens: Ford 6
Drop Goal: Ford

For Exeter:
Tries: Welch, Mumm
Pens: Steenson 2

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Paul James, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Nick Abendanon

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (capt), 3 Hoani Tui 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Ian Whitten

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe, Peter Huckle
TMO: Keith Lewis

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