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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 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com