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Aviva Premiership - Late penalty try earns Bath draw at Exeter
Bath came from behind to snatch a dramatic 12-12 draw with west country rivals Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
The Chiefs looked set to claim their first Aviva Premiership victory over their near-neighbours when leading 12-5, however a 76th-minute penalty try, converted by Tom Heathcote, ensured the points were shared.
Both sides went into the game on the back of defeats with Exeter seeing their run of seven victories halted by Gloucester, while Bath were hammered 22-0 at home to Saracens.
The Chiefs applied the early pressure and it came as no surprise when Gareth Steenson landed the opening penalty after 12 minutes.
But the visitors hit back immediately with a try started and finished by scrum-half Michael Claassens in the left corner with great support play from wing Tom Biggs and fly-half Steven Donald. Claassens was unable to convert his own effort from the touchline.
Exeter wasted a try-scoring opportunity when full-back Luke Arscott made the break through the middle and, with scrum half Hayden Thomas on his right in space, he passed to lock Aly Muldowney who was quickly brought to ground.
The Chiefs were able to create breaks from deep in their own half but unforced errors or penalties were again their downfall when they ventured into the Bath 22 allowing the visitors to keep their line intact.
Then, with time already up on the clock in the first half, Bath wing Horacio Agulla was penalised for coming in at the side of the ruck and Steenson stepped-up to land his second kick of the game and nudge the Chiefs into a 6-5 half-time lead.
Steenson increased the lead minutes after the restart - the former Ireland Under 21 international's penalty took him past 1,000 points since his Exeter debut in 2008.
The Chiefs were an improved side after the break and when Bath strayed offside inside their own 22, Steenson stepped up to slot home his fourth penalty kick.
With time ticking down Exeter looked set to send the majority of the 10,744 sell-out crowd happy, however late pressure from Bath eventually ended in the award of a penalty try, which Heathcote converted.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com