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Bath Sporting Round-Up

Bath City had a double header in their search for promotion and Bath Rugby played a top-of-the-table clash at Sale Sharks.

Bath City vs Hemel Hempstead

Bath faced Hemel Hempstead in the National League South hoping for a third win in a row. Bath's midweek game against Slough had been cancelled giving them plenty of rest ahead of the trip to Hemel Hempstead. 

The extra rest allowed Bath to get off to a strong start as within six minutes the Romans had already come close to scoring, Jordan Thomas firing an effort that clattered the woodwork and bounced clear. 

Cody Cooke would be next up to nearly open the scoring in the 13th minute. Ewan Clark's brilliant footwork allowed Cooke to fire and come only inches from putting Bath ahead. 

The hosts had not had much to cheer for but had started to get more of the ball as the first half progressed. Bath still looked the more likely to score, Luke Russe having the next chance but his shot was dragged wide.

Bath would go close once again with Thomas and Cooke almost combining for the opener. Thomas’ cross connected with Cooke whose effort fell just wide of the post. 

A flurry of chances would come for both sides with the hosts going close through Powell who got on the end of a goal kick that had been flicked on before almost finding the far corner. Then Thomas again went close for the Romans his curled effort just went narrowly wide. 

Halftime would come with the score somehow remaining 0-0. 

Second Half:

Hemel started the second half strongly winning a free-kick in a dangerous area, the free-kick was fired in and the ball bobbled around in the Bath area before being cleared away. 

The Romans were doing everything they could but put the ball in the back of the net. Cooke had been everywhere and came close again in the 65th minute his header was just wide. Then a few minutes later he was at it again Scott Wilson tried sending Cooke through on goal but the pass was just out of reach. 

Hemel Hempstead keeper Craig King pulled out a brilliant save to deny Thomas the opener at his near post. The Romans were throwing everything at the Hempstead goal to come away with the win. 

With only a few minutes remaining the hosts went close with Joe Re driving a strike from beyond the area, clattering the crossbar and nearly stealing the three points for the home side.  

The home side had come alive in the dying moments having the best chance of the half with only seconds to go, Jordan Dyer threw himself in the way to make a vital block and finish the game with Bath taking away one point. 

Despite it being a goalless draw the game was packed with chances and both sides could make claims to deserving the three points. 

Farnborough vs Bath City

Bath came into the weekend's fixture with Farnborough looking to put right the goalless tie on Tuesday. 

The game opened with both sides struggling to find a footing, the opening 15 minutes came and went without much action. But shortly after two big chances would come the way of the hosts. 

First Connor Hall was sent through on goal and tried an audacious chip on Will Buse that nearly came off the ball falling just wide of the post. Then Michael Folivi would have a go at goal but found his shot going high and wide. 

Connor Cullen would strike the post moments later as Farnborough began to control the flow of the game. It wouldn't be too long until the hosts found their opener from the man who had struck the post just minutes earlier. Cullen would take the ball around Buse before slotting home to give Farnborough a 1-0 lead.

The Romans needed a response and they quickly found one courtesy of Elliot Frear, the Bath man remained composed to fire home and level the score at 1-1. 

Second Half:

The second half started strongly for the home side who won a penalty just minutes into the half Folivi was tripped in the box allowing Aaron Kuhl to step up and smash the ball home restoring Farnborough's lead. 

Bath were on the hunt for an equaliser and it took until the 70th minute to find it, Jack Batten rising and powering a header home to bring the Romans level. 

With 10 minutes to go Bath won a penalty much to the uproar of the home crowd, Bath had not led all game but had a chance to steal three points. But Farnborough keeper Jack Turner had other ideas and saved the penalty keeping the score at 2-2. 

Despite a late chance for the hosts, the game would come to a close with the points split but just how much will Bath rue not scoring that penalty?

Bath Rugby vs Sale Sharks

It was a top-of-the-table clash in the Gallagher Premiership as second-placed Bath travelled to the leaders Sale Sharks.

Bath started the first half flying, within three minutes they were awarded a penalty and got points on the board courtesy of Finn Russell. 

The talent was fully on display as both sides were in an all-out war to try and get some control of the game. It wouldn’t be until the 22nd minute that more points would be scored. Another penalty for Bath in almost the same spot as the first saw Russell add another three points to the tally making it 6-0 to the visitors. 

Sale had an immediate response to the penalty as they won a scrum penalty and sent the ball wide to Jonny Hill who brought the game to within one point following a missed conversion. 

The first half would see the two sides continue to clash as Bath struggled to get a try of their own but a solid defensive display kept the Sharks at bay. Just a minute before the half Bath would receive another penalty and Russell made the lead rise to four at the break.
The whistle would come signalling the end of the half that had Bath leading 9-5. 

Second Half:

Sale came out needing to find blood if they were to win this game and early on in the second half the hosts got a penalty in front of the posts and George Ford found an easy three points to once again close the game to one. 

Sale believed they had the lead in the 58th minute as they believed they crossed the line with Bath screaming they had the ball. The decision went to TMO who concluded No Try. 

The hosts had definitely been the better side in the second half but the Bath defence was an unbreakable wall who were doing all they could to keep the lead and win turnovers. The wall held out until the 72nd minute where with just eight minutes left to play Sale took the lead. Ford's kick was good and the Sharks lead for the first time in the game at 11-9.

Despite leading for 72 minutes sport can be cruel and the Sharks held out despite a late charge from Bath the game finished 11-9 to Sale. An incredibly strong performance from Bath where they definitely deserved some points. 

 

 

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