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Gloucester edge derby battle
Guinness Premiership, Kingsholm, Saturday September 2, 15.00
Gloucester got their Premiership campaign off to a winning start with a 24-19 victory over Bath at Kingsholm.
Despite suffering the late loss of Mike Tindall to a calf injury before kick-off, coach Dean Ryan's men battled hard for victory, scoring tries through Jack Adams and Olly Morgan.
The Cherry-and-Whites featured four debutants in their starting line-up, including Iain Balshaw who had previously experienced the West Country derby atmosphere in the blue of Bath.
Unfortunately, injuries once again blighted the England man's afternoon, and Balshaw headed off after 40 minutes with an ankle blow.
It was the rather less high-profile inclusion of Willie Walker who made the key impact, the stand-off kicking 14 points to guide his team to victory.
Two Danny Grewcock tries could not rescue the match for Bath, who were playing their first competitive match under the guidance of new head coach Steve Meehan.
A late Olly Barkley penalty grabbed Meehan a losing bonus point, which was no more than they deserved after a hard-fought opening performance.
Two sin-bins in quick succession cost the former European champions dear close to the interval, with Michael Stephenson following captain Steve Borthwick into the bin.
Penalties dominated the first forty minutes as Gloucester took a 12-6 lead into the break, but the first try arrived immediately when the teams returned.
Adams was the man to go over, but he owed an awful lot to the endeavour of flanker Andy Hazell.
Grewcock then reduced the arrears from close range, but Bath were then undone by the kind of quality that could make Gloucester a real force this season.
The Cherry-and-Whites had the visiting defence chasing shadows as they moved the ball swiftly from one flank to the other, with Morgan going over to clinch the match.
Grewcock made a 20-yard dash late on to give Bath a flicker of hope, but it was Gloucester who triumphed in the rain.
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|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|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com