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Aviva Premiership: Bath hold on at the Rec to beat Gloucester
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Bath gained local bragging rights over Gloucester with a hard-fought 15-13 victory over their west country rivals at the Rec on Friday night.
George Ford kicked all of the home side's points, landing five penalties, as they moved up to second in the Aviva Premiership table with a fourth win in six league outings this season.
Gloucester at one stage trailed 12-3 but despite the sin-binning of prop Rupert Harden on 54 minutes, produced a sterling second-half fightback.
Freddie Burns converted his own try just after the hour mark and also booted a pair of penalties as the Cherry and Whites at least made the short journey back to Kingsholm with a losing bonus point for their efforts.
In the end, the visitors simply left themselves too much to do in the closing quarter, their cause not helped by the fact they conceded no less than 19 penalties.
They fell behind after just six minutes when Ford slotted over a penalty, awarded after a late hit on him by Matt Kvesic, and the former Leicester Tiger was successful with two further efforts to make it 9-0.
Burns, born and bred in Bath, eventually got Gloucester on the scoreboard in the 34th minute, making the most of a penalty for a deliberate knock-on by Jonathan Joseph.
Ford missed two further attempts before the break but fired over a penalty six minutes into the second half from wide out on the right wing.
Bath, who have not lost at home in the league in 2013, looked set to take a firm grip on proceedings when prop Harden was ordered to spend 10 minutes in the bin by referee Wayne Barnes, even if Ford couldn't convert the relatively straightforward opportunity.
However it was the 14 men of Gloucester who scored next, Burns grabbing the only try of the match when he collected his own charge down of a clearing kick. He also knocked over the extras, making it 12-10 all of a sudden.
Ford responded with a penalty but Bath then found themselves a player light when Anthony Watson was shown a yellow card.
Burns made him pay by knocking over the kick, cutting the gap back to two points. That, though, was as close as Gloucester got, meaning they have now won just one of their last eight away matches in all competitions.Aviva Premiership. Click here to bet.
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Friday 20th February|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com