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BBC Five Live's Alastair Hignell
"A raucus, capacity crowd roared Newport off to a cracking start."
 real 14k

banner Friday, 13 October, 2000, 21:48 GMT 22:48 UK
Newport record historic win
Newport wing Matt Mostyn
Mostyn, who scored Newport's second try, was a constant threat to Bath
Heineken Cup, Pool 4
Newport 28-17 Bath

Newport announced their arrival in Europe by recording a brilliant victory over 1998 Heineken Cup winners Bath at Rodney Parade.

The Black and Ambers, roared on by a capacity 11,000 crowd, blitzed Bath through three first half tries.

And the 22-10 interval advantage proved too much of a hurdle for Bath to overcome, despite replacement fly-half Shaun Berne's try 12 minutes from time and persistent late pressure.

Newport prospered because they took their chances, leaving Bath to dig deep ahead of next Saturday's tough pool four trip to Munster.

The home side survived a nervous closing 10 minutes after being reduced to 14 men when their South African skipper Gary Teichmann was sinbinned for killing possession.

Triumph

But two Shane Howarth penalties after the break gave them breathing space, and however hard Bath huffed and puffed they could not smash down Newport's resistance.

Tonight's triumph provided a memorable moment for Newport's millionaire backer Tony Brown.

Newport's Mathew Watkins
Mathew Watkins: scored Newport's first try
Brown has transformed the club from an ordinary mid-table outfit into serious Heineken Cup challengers through a significant investment that has assembled a new-look squad and brought the public flooding back.

Bath had their moments, but the loss of fly-half John Preston, England centre Mike Tindall and flanker Gavin Thomas through injury hardly helped the cause.

Newport took just six minutes to make their mark, conjuring up a wonderful try to split open Bath's defence.

Fly-half Howarth looped with centre Andy Marinos, putting Mostyn clear in space, and Watkins completed the job.

Howarth made a mess of the conversion, and although Preston briefly reduced Bath's arrears, Newport added another quality try on 19 mins.

Ireland wing Mostyn displayed all his strength and pace by powering outside his opposite number Adebayo and Newport were well on their way.

Pressure

Howarth missed his first conversion attempt, but was allowed to re-take it by Irish referee David Tyndall when Bath charged down to kick illegally, and he made no mistake second time around.

Bath then lost Preston, but it sparked a period of concerted pressure that saw Newport produce tackle after tackle to keep their line intact.

However, 10 mins before the break that resistance buckled when Bath number eight Stan Lyle played in Welsh scrum half Garth Cooper and he scooted across for the try.

England full-back Matt Perry converted to put Bath within striking distance, yet Newport showed admirable character to finish the opening period on top.
Bath's Gareth Cooper
Cooper scored to keep Bath in the hunt

Howarth booted a huge 50-metre penalty and in injury time Newport's Ian Gough produced a crunching tackle, possession ran loose and Marinos was able to dart over and Howarth converted.

Having established a commanding advantage, Newport knew that the second period was all about preserving their lead.

After Marinos and Tindall had left proceedings through injury, Newport again performed heroics in defence and they emerged unscathed from the third quarter, gaining a bonus when Howarth kicked another penalty on the hour mark.

Trumps

Facing a 15-point deficit, Bath were left with little option but to throw caution to the wind and the impressive Berne rounded off a quality set-piece movement with the visitor's second try, again improved by Perry.

Teichmann's yellow card guaranteed a tension-filled final for the Newport faithful, but when Bath infringed within striking distance of the posts, Howarth came up trumps with the game's final kick.

Newport received a standing ovation as they left the field and there is no doubt that this win will put them in good heart for a quick double appointment with French club Castres over the next two weekends.

Bath, meanwhile, must take stock, not only assessing their injury count but hoping that absent fly-half playmaker Mike Catt will soon return from a sciatic nerve problem to run the show for them once again.


Scorers - Newport: Tries: Mostyn, M Watkins, Marinos. Cons: Howarth 2 Pens: Howarth 3.

Scorers - Bath: Tries: Cooper, Berne. Cons: Perry 2. Pens: Preston

Att: 11,342

Teams

Newport: M Pini, M Mostyn, M Watkins, A Marinos, B Breeze, S Howarth, D Edwards, R Snow, J Richards, A Garvey, I Gough, S Raiwalui, P Buxton, G Teichmann (capt), J Forster
Replacements: C Jones, P Young, G Taylor, A Popham, D Burn, J Pritchard, E Lewis

Bath: Bath: Perry, Balshaw, De Glanville, Tindall, A Adebayo, Preston, Cooper, Barnes, Regan, Mallett, Haag, Borthwick, G Thomas, Clarke, Lyle
Replacements: Long, Horsman, Voyce, Maggs, Gardiner, N Thomas, Berne

Referee: David Tindall

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