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Bath win at last against Falcons

Newcastle 16-27 Bath

By Ben Blackmore  

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Guinness Premiership, Kingston Park, Sunday September 25

Four second-half tries allowed Bath to stage a comeback against the Newcastle Falcons and score a 27-16 win at Kingston Park.

Missed penalty opportunities by Bath's Olly Barkley had allowed the home side to take a comfortable advantage at the interval.

But, aided by the sin-binning of Cory Harris, the visitors proceeded to find another gear, with tries from Matt Stevens, Martyn Wood, Zak Feaunati and James Scaysbrook enabling Bath to take their first win of the Guinness Premiership season.

Bath looked the brighter early on, with Barkley's penalty opening their account following an offside decision against the defending Falcons.

But the England international proceeded to miss his next three - albeit more difficult - penalties, with Falcons officials asking for silence from the crowd as his last effort again failed to find the desired target.

The request was met by ironic cheers from the Newcastle crowd, with their own Matt Burke showing Barkley the way by coolly kicking the hosts level on eight minutes.

Burke then handed over to Dave Walder, with the England hopeful edging the Falcons ahead on 20 minutes with a perfectly executed drop goal.

Following a turnover caused by Matt Perry dropping the ball, the resulting surge from Burke resulted in another penalty, which the Australian veteran again converted.

Burke and Walder then combined for the former to break via a neat dummy and score the game's first try on 38 minutes.

Burke converted, but Bath replied in injury time when Stevens stole in to score on the blindside.

Newcastle led 16-8 at half-time but Harris' expulsion, for an infringement in a maul, was to have immediate consequences.

With the extra player, Bath were right back in contention after 48 minutes when, after his pass had hit an offside Andy Perry, Wood ignored appeals from other players to simply pick up the ball and score.

Barkley converted, with his side going further ahead 10 minutes later after a drive resulted in Feaunati being bundled over.

And the visitors sealed their win - complete with bonus point - after good work in opposition territory by David Bory allowed Scaysbrook to go over.

Newcastle (16) 16.
Tries: Burke. Cons: Burke. Pens: Burke 2. Drop Goals: Walder.
Bath (8) 27.
Tries: Stevens, Wood, Fea'unati, Scaysbrook. Cons:Barkley 2.
Pens: Barkley.
Att: 6,869    

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