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Bath

  • Batty,
    Penalty goals: Ford (2),
11 - 12

Sale Sharks


  • Penalty goals: Cipriani (4),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 28th Mar 2014
  • KO 19:45
  • Ground: The Recreation Ground
  • Att: 12,000

Aiva Premiership: Sale hang on for 12-11 win over Bath

Last updated: 28th March 2014  

George Ford Bath Harlequins

George Ford: Two costly late misses for Bath

 Sale Aviva Prem

Sale celebrate stunning win at the Recreation Ground

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Sale's surge towards an Aviva Premiership play-off place gathered pace following a hard-fought 12-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday night.

Steve Diamond's men produced a heroic defensive effort amid unrelenting second half pressure from Bath to claim their fourth league win in a row and close the gap on fourth-placed Leicester, who play Saturday, to three points.

Danny Cipriani kicked all 12 points for Sale while opposite number George Ford was left to rue a missed conversion from Ross Batty's 76th minute try, as well as a sliced drop-goal in the dying stages.

Sale were in control for the first half of the game but were relieved that referee Dean Richards showed only one yellow card, to replacement prop Henry Thomas, as they conceded six scrum penalties on the same patch of mud on their own five-metre line.

A Paul James 'no arms' tackle allowed Cipriani to kick the opening penalty after seven minutes but Ford levelled at 3-3 from short range soon after when the Sale backs were caught offside.

Sale, moving the ball confidently, were rewarded with a second Cipriani penalty when Matt Garvey was penalised for a high tackle on hooker Marc Jones.

Pressure

The visitors were also winning the scrum battle, as Bath conceded two penalties on their own heel, the second giving Cipriani his third successful penalty, this time from nearly 50 metres.

Try-scoring chances were few and far between, however, but number eight Leroy Houston brought the crowd to their feet by running straight over the top of Dave Seymour and Ford pulled back three points when Sale infringed at a ruck.

The Bath fly-half had a chance to draw his side level just before half-time for a similar offence, but the kick drifted wide from near half-way and Sale were well worth their 9-6 lead at the break.

Bath were caught trying to play their way out of their 22 soon shortly after the restart and presented Cipriani with his fourth successful kick, with Ford again off target at the other end.

Bath built a period of pressure and when Sale collapsed a five-metre scrum - their fourth penalty in seven scrums on the same patch of ground - Thomas was shown the yellow card on 68 minutes. On it went, with two more penalties without the scrum being completed before Sale eventually scrambled the ball into touch to end a farcical 10-minute sequence.

Bath finally forced their way over from a line-out catch and drive in the 75th minute with hooker Batty emerging from the heap of bodies. This time the television match official found in Bath's favour but Ford's conversion was wide.

With less than a minute remaining, Ford had a drop goal attempt charged down by Nick Macleod and then was agonisingly wide with another attempt right on the final whistle as Bath suffered only their second league defeat at home since December 2012.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 19th December
Aviva Premiership
19:45Sale Sharks vs Exeter
Saturday 20th December
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle Falcons
15:15Northampton vs Leicester Tigers
17:30Gloucester vs Bath
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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