LV= Cup: Harlequins beat Bath 31-23 to reach final

Last updated: 9th March 2013  

Ben Botica Harlequins tackled by Anthony Perenise of Bath LV= Cup semi-final

Tough battle: Ben Botica of Harlequins is tackled by Anthony Perenise

Tom Williams Harlequins sprinting away for a try against Bath LV= Cup semi-finals

Tom Williams: Ran in a brace of tries for Harlequins

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First-half tries from Tom Guest, Tom Williams and Karl Dickson saw Harlequins beat Bath 31-23 and reach the LV= Cup final.

Williams added his second try for the hosts in the second-half and fly-half Ben Botica kicked 11 points, converting all four tries before putting the issue beyond doubt with a late penalty.

Bath replied with tries from lock Francis Louw and full-back Nick Abendanon, with fly-half Tom Heathcote kicking their other 13 points.

Quins will play the winners of Sunday's semi-final between Sale Sharks and Saracens in the final at Sixways, Worcester, next Sunday, March 17, and remain on course for a treble including the Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup.

Harlequins struck the first blow in the eighth minute when number eight Guest finished a superb move off the back of a lineout. Scrum-half Dickson found Botica, his inside pass released winger Williams and flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu sent Guest on a clear run to the posts to leave Botica an easy conversion.

Quins winger Williams then received a long pass from Bath centre Kyle Eastmond on his own 22-metre line and raced 80 metres to touch down, leaving Botica another simple kick.

Strength

Bath opened their account six minutes later when their pack power proved too much for the home side. Winning a lineout, their experienced forwards drove Quins back over their own line before Louw grounded the ball and Heathcote converted.

Then, after Guest was hauled down just short of the line, Dickson picked up and squeezed between Dominic Day and Stringer to score Quins' third try, with Botica again adding the extras.

A penalty from Heathcote reduced the Bath deficit to 21-10 just before half-time and, 30 seconds into the second half, he kicked another after Quins were caught offside.

But Harlequins struck again to stay in control with their fourth try in the 53rd minute. Botica found skipper Luke Wallace, who broke out of a tackle and passed outside for Williams to run in his second try, again converted by Botica.

But the home team suffered a serious blow when left-wing Sam Smith was yellow-carded for disrupting a Bath attack from a blatant offside position.

Bath, capitalising on their one-man advantage stayed in touch when Abendanon burst through for his side's second try, converted by Heathcote, who landed his third penalty in the 63rd minute to reduce the gap to five points and set up a tense finale.

Just before Smith returned, Bath had prop Nathan Catt sin-binned for illegally disrupting a Quins attack and Botica kicked the resulting penalty to seal victory.

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