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|Home team||Away Team|
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- Aviva Premiership
- 27th Oct 2012
- KO 14:30
- Ground: The Recreation Ground
- Att: 12,200
Exeter fall short in comeback bid as wait for a win over Bath goes on
Bath held off a second-half Exeter onslaught to triumph 23-15 at the Rec, a result that means they leapfrog the Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership table.
It seemed the visitors were still suffering a Heineken Cup hangover when they conceded two tries in the opening 15 minutes, Ben Williams and Kyle Eastmond crossing for the rampant hosts.
However the Chiefs - who had leaked 36 unanswered points after the break against Clermont seven days earlier - threatened an almighty comeback in the second half.
Substitute Ignacio Mieres touched down with 12 minutes to go and with the already sin-binned Dan Hipkiss then sent off in bizarre fashion whilst on the sidelines, it appeared Exeter would complete the turnaround.
Bath, though, refused to suffer a first competitive loss to the Chiefs in 34 years, with Stephen Donald's late penalty sealing a thrilling win.
Exeter will look back on the inability of Gareth Steenson to kick two first-half penalties, while the No.10 also failed to convert prop Brett Sturgess' try from next to the touchline.
Yet in truth they were fortunate to only be 15-5 behind at the break, such was Bath's dominance. Williams burst through two weak tackles to break the deadlock after just three minutes, then Eastmond soon followed him in diving over in the right corner to finish off a flowing team move.
They also scored the third try of the contest in the 58th minute, the excellent Francois Louw showing a neat turn of pace for a flanker to squeeze in out wide, albeit completely against the run of play.
Bath then had to hold on, their cause not helped when Hipkiss was shown a second yellow for interfering with the ball after it had been kicked off the pitch.
Donald finally gave them some breathing space with three late points, while Exeter missed a late, late penalty that would've gained them a losing bonus.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|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|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com