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Sunday, November 14, 1999 Published at 17:41 GMT

Sport: Rugby Union

Gloucester stun expectant Sarries

Gloucester hero Mannix (bottom right) is tackled by Ryan Constable

Gloucester 22-19 Saracens

Simon Mannix kicked Gloucester to a last-gasp victory at Kingsholm to deny Saracens a share of the points on Sunday.

The BBC's Nick Mullins: "They just about deserved it for the way they dug in"
Fly-half Mannix landed a penalty in the third minute of injury-time, making amends for a glaring miss when he struck an upright from short range earlier in the second half.

It was the last kick in an exciting contest and put Gloucester, in second place, level on points with their arch West Country rivals and Premiership leaders Bath.

A crowd of just over 9,000 packed into Kingsholm, and with 20 minutes to go it looked as if Saracens would secure the win which would have given them top spot above Bath.

But a clever try from Gloucester wing Tom Beim, who made the most of a missed tackle by Saracens centre Jeremy Thomson before Mannix converted, tied the match at 19-19 and guaranteed a frantic finale.

Mannix then wasted a glorious chance to boot Gloucester ahead, unbelievably missing a penalty from just 15 metres out, but he got it right when it mattered, slotting his match-winning kick from an identical distance.

Saracens, despite another immaculate goal-kicking performance from fly-half Thierry Lacroix, enjoyed the lion's share of penalties awarded by erratic Yorkshire referee John Barnard but lacked a three-quarter cutting edge.

It meant that so much of the sterling forward work done by Tony Diprose and Danny Grewcock did not reap a deserved reward. And Francois Pienaar's men will return home to London kicking themselves at letting things slip.

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