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- LV= Cup
- 25th Jan 2014
- KO 15:00
- Ground: The Recreation Ground
- Att: 11,847
LV= Cup: Bath book last four place after beating Cardiff Blues at the Rec
- Saturday's LV= Cup preview
- Young Guns delight Diamond
- Blues quiet on Warburton
- Davis hails battling Wasps
- Cockerill has no complaints
- Quins-Leicester result stands
- Sanderson: We want to win it
- Hunter - Cup hopes still alive
- Mallinder hails Saints display
- Scarlets edge out Gloucester
- Super Saints slay Dragons
- Sharks too strong for Warriors
- Quins weather the storm
- Sarries stroll into semis
- Chiefs still in the hunt
- Exiles stung by Wasps
Bath clinched a semi-final place in the LV= Cup after beating Cardiff Blues 24-13 while Worcester lost to Sale.
The home team's punishing driving maul laid the platform for three of their tries, including first-half touchdowns by flanker Alafoti Fa'osilva and scrum-half Micky Young.
Gavin Henson came off the bench against one of his former clubs to claim the third early in the second half but it was just five minutes before the end that Guy Mercer claimed the bonus point try for the runaway Pool 3 leaders.
Owen Williams was making his first appearance for Cardiff since pulling a hamstring playing for Wales against Australia on 30 November. The only other first-team regular was his centre partner, Chris Czekaj as the Blues recalled a host of younger players from Principality Premiership clubs.
Bath, led by Welshman Dominic Day, were also much-changed but armed with plenty of first team experience.
Cardiff opened the scoring after six minutes with a penalty by fly-half Simon Humberstone but it took Bath barely two minutes to respond, Ryan Caldwell's line-out take setting up the drive for an unconverted try by Fa'osilva.
The Samoan then showed his defensive capabilities with a try-saving tackle on Owen Williams.
A strengthening wind helped Cardiff maintain a territorial advantage but also spoiled Humberstone's attempt to add a second penalty on 22 minutes.
Instead Bath broke clear, forced a penalty to the corner and another catch-and-drive yielded a 27th-minute try for Young under the posts. Tom Heathcote added the conversion.
Fa'osilva showed his sevens pedigree with a 50-metre burst from the restart but the Blues scrambled back and might have scored a try themselves only for Owen Williams to waste a three-to-one overlap.
But they had been awarded a penalty in front of the posts and Humberstone made the half-time score 12-6 as a squall drenched the Rec, again near capacity at just under 12,000.
Henson opens account
Bath were 19-6 ahead 10 minutes into the second half as former Wales star Henson came off the bench - and scored his first try for Bath almost straight away. Heathcote added the conversion.
A thrilling break by Owen Jenkins down the right, supported by skipper Ellis Jenkins, for once had the Bath defence stretched to breaking point. But, after some inventive interpassing left and right under the Bath posts, Tom Biggs rushed up to close down the space and the chance was gone.
Bath had struggled to establish field position but that was remedied when Heathcote kicked to the corner from a penalty and the driving maul did the rest.
Mercer emerged with the ball but Heathcote's conversion attempt struck the post.
Cardiff hit back with a well-worked try for full-back Dan Fish, converted from the touchline by Humberstone.
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|Saturday 1st November|
|15:00||Northampton vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets|
|15:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|15:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Exeter|
|15:00||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 8th November|
|15:00||Scarlets vs Northampton|
|15:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|15:00||Leicester vs Sale|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues|
|15:00||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Ospreys vs Saracens|
|15:00||Exeter vs Bath|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com