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Bath secure Challenge Cup glory

Bath (15) 24
Tries: Faamatuainu, Abendanon Con: Barkley Pens: Barkley 2, James
Drop: Barkley
Worcester (6) 16
Try: Delport Con: Carlisle Pens: Drahm 3


Bath's Steve Borthwick lifts the European Challenge Cup trophy
Bath's win is the first since their Heineken Cup win of 1998

Bath claimed their first trophy in 10 years by beating Worcester in the final of the European Challenge Cup.

Bath took control of a physical match at Kingsholm when flanker Jonny Faamatuainu and full-back Nick Abendanon scored before half-time.

Worcester hit back with two Shane Drahm penalties but kicks from Olly Barkley and Butch James sealed the win.

The victory marked the final game in Bath colours for England internationals Barkley and Steve Borthwick.

The pair are leaving The Rec over the summer to join Gloucester and Saracens respectively.

The triumph will be a massive relief for Bath, who have lost four successive finals in three different competitions since winning the Heineken Cup in 1998 and who lost in the Premiership semi-final against Wasps last week.

It's a huge privilege - Borthwick

For Worcester, the defeat means that their dream of playing in next year's Heineken Cup is now over - with Harlequins claiming the final place.

And the Warriors will feel aggrieved that referee Christophe Berdos did not reach for a yellow card on at least three occasions when Bath blatantly infringed.

The two sides traded penalties before Bath secured two tries in five crucial first-half minutes.

There was an element of good fortune about the first though, as Berdos missed Mears' forward pass to fly-half James during a flowing move that ended with Faamatuainu crossing.

Trophy drought is over - Meehan

Barkley's penalty attempt shortly afterwards came back off the post and with Bath reacting first to the loose ball, Joe Maddock was sent clear on the wing and his deft inside pass was collected by Abendanon.

Drahm, who along with Thinus Delport and Drew Hickey, is leaving for Japan in the summer managed to reduce the deficit but Bath went 24-9 ahead with a penalty and drop-goal from Barkley and a penalty from James.

606: DEBATE
misterarmchairpundit

Delport gave the Worcester fans something to cheer about but his injury-time try was too little too late.


Bath: Abendanon; Maddock, Crockett, Barkley, Banahan; James, Claassens; Flatman, Mears, Stevens, Borthwick (c), Grewcock, Faamatuainu, Lipman, Browne.
Replacements: Dixon, Bell, Short, Feaunati, Walshe, Berne, Cheeseman.

Worcester: Delport; Garvey, Rasmussen, Tuitupou, Benjamin; Drahm, Powell; Windo, Lutui, Taumoepeau, Rawlinson, Gillies, Hickey, Sanderson (capt), Horstmann.
Replacements: Horsman, Mullan, Bowley, Talei, Powell, Carlisle, Gear.


see also
Emotional Borthwick hails Cup win
25 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Sanderson to stay on as skipper
23 May 08 |  Worcester


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