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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 April 2006, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Bath 31-16 Bristol
Danny Grewcock is wrapped up by the Bristol defence
Bath (31) 31
Tries: Beattie, Maddock, Fea'unati
Cons: Barkley 2
Pens: Barkley 4
Bristol (6) 16
Try: Lemi
Con: Strange
Pens: Strange 3
Bath made sure of their Premiership place next season thanks to victory over local rivals Bristol at the Rec.

The home side had a scintillating first-half, with Andy Beattie, Joe Maddock and Isaac Fea'unati all scoring while Olly Barkley kicked 16 points.

Bristol, who could only get six points on the board in reply, improved after the break and David Lemi's try on 44 minutes gave the visitors hope.

Jason Strange added three points but they could not get any closer.

The victory is a massive boost to Bath as they build up for next week's Heineken Cup semi-final at Biarritz.

Bath's play in the first half was electric and their offloading and back-line moves had Brian Ashton's influence all over it.

But Ashton will be a little concerned by how his charges went off the boil after the half-time interval.

Olly Barkley impressed at fly-half and after kicking two early penalties, he fired a pin-point cross-field arrow to Andy Beattie on the wing who had the simple task of touching down.

Barkley added two more penalties and Maddock and Fea'unati crossed as Bristol found themselves down to 13 men with Roy Winters and Darren Crompton sin-binned.

Bristol, who are now also safe from relegation after London Irish's win over Leeds, looked down and out but they began the second half strongly and after Bath made a hash of an attacking scrum, Lemi was able to touch down.

Strange then added three points but Bristol were not able to capitalise on their possession.

And Bath were able to grind out the win despite the yellow card given to Danny Grewcock for stamping with nine minutes to go.

  • Bath head coach Brian Ashton:
    "We played pretty well for the first half - no doubt at all.

    "But we lost direction for the first 10 minutes after half-time and let Bristol into the game.

    "We need to do that for 80 minutes. Even 60 minutes might not be enough against Biarritz."

  • Bristol coach Richard Hill:
    "We knew the result of the Leeds-London Irish game [which edged the Tykes ever closer to relegation] and perhaps it took a bit of the edge off our game but that's no an excuse.

    "Bath were going to be right up for this and they gave us 40 minutes of very good rugby."

    Bath: Maddock; Higgins, Crockett, Finau, Bory; Barkley, Walshe; Barnes, Mears, Filise; Borthwick, Grewcock; Beattie, Lipman, Fea'unati.
    Replacements: Stephenson for Finau (48), Williams for Walshe (56), Dixon for Mears (70), Delve for Fea'unati (51).
    Not Used: Bell, Short, Dunne.

    Sin Bin: Grewcock (72).

    Bristol: Going; Robinson, Higgitt, Cox, Lemi; Strange, Perry; Hilton, Regan, Crompton; Budgett, Llewellyn; Salter, El Abd, Ward-Smith.
    Replacements: Denney for Robinson (76), Gray for Strange (71), Irish for Hilton (71), N. Clarke for Regan (71), Winters for Budgett (9), Sambucetti for Llewellyn (40), Lewis for Ward-Smith (65).

    Sin Bin: Winters (25), Crompton (31).

    Att: 10,600

    Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU).

    Northampton 24-21 Bath
    08 Apr 06 |  English
    Gloucester 15-20 Bristol
    25 Mar 06 |  English


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