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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Saturday, 20 September 2008 17:32 UK

London Irish 16-20 Bath

London Irish (5) 16
Tries: Corbisiero, Seveali'i Pens: Hewat, Hickey

Bath (17) 20
Try: James Con: James Pens: James 2, Cuthbert 3

Butch James
Butch James contributed with 13 points for Bath

Jack Cuthbert kicked a late penalty to ensure Bath leapfrogged opponents London Irish in the table courtesy of their second win of the season.

The visitors raced to a 17-5 half-time lead thanks to a converted try from outside-half Butch James, and two penalties each from James and Cuthbert.

But London Irish fought back with Elvis Seveali'i crossing to add to prop Alex Corbisiero's first-half try.

The Exiles were left to rue what proved to be six costly missed kicks.

Outside-half Eoghan Hickey would have put his team in front had he converted their second try but the former Munster player missed.

Indeed, Hickey and full-back Peter Hewat both missed two shots at goal which, had they been successful, would have given the home side the advantage.

Admittedly the Exiles were not at their strongest as they were without seven players through injury, but coach Toby Booth would have been unimpressed by the number of silly first-half errors his team committed.

Bath took an early lead when the industrious scrum-half Michael Claassens sent James clear from two metres.

The South African converted and added six more points with the boot, one from in front of the posts and another from 30m.

Bath were reduced to 14 men on the half-hour when centre and co-captain Alex Crockett was sent to the sin-bin for fighting with London Irish hooker David Paice.

Exiles captain Seilala Mapusua rallied his men and just before half-time the home team crossed the whitewash as loose-head Corbisiero drove over from close range.

The home side failed with the conversion and Hickey missed a fifth kick at the posts in the 43rd minute before Hewat succeeded with a 30m penalty.

Irish clawed their way back to within six points when Hickey landed a 40m penalty and they were clearly in the ascendancy.

A second try soon followed as the Exiles worked the ball out to the wing where former Bath player Seveali'i chipped to the line and scored.

But Hickey failed with the conversion and with seconds remaining Cuthbert booted his side to victory with his third penalty of the day.

London Irish coach Toby Booth on Peter Hewat and Eoghan Hickey's missed kicks:

"I know the boys work hard on their kicking and they'll probably take that very personally.

"They will be working hard to make sure their percentages are much better in the next match than what we saw.

"I keep saying that we are here to compete and I was very happy with the second half that we got ourselves in a position to compete. The more times you get consistency, the chances are you will come out on top."

Bath head coach Stephen Meehan:

"It's not always easy to come on the road and win, regardless of the match.

"I thought we played well in the first half and we tried to be very positive.

"In the second half we scrapped like hell to keep Irish out so it was a good, courageous performance."

London Irish: Hewat, Ojo, D. Armitage, Mapusua, Tagicakibau, Hickey, Richards, Corbisiero, Paice, Rautenbach, Kennedy, Johnson, Thorpe, S. Armitage, Hala'ufia.

Replacements: Seveali'i for D. Armitage (56), Hodgson for Richards (59), Fisher for Corbisiero (70), Lea'aetoa for Paice (62), Coetzee for Rautenbach (59).

Not Used: Rouse, Thompstone.

Bath: Abendanon, Maddock, Crockett, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Cuthbert, James, Claassens, Barnes, Mears, Bell, Harrison, Short, Hooper, Lipman, Scaysbrook.

Replacements: Cheeseman for Crockett (65), Berne for Fuimaono-Sapolu (56), Bemand for Claassens (63), Flatman for Barnes (63), Dixon for Mears (55).

Not Used: Stevens, J. Ovens.

Sin Bin: Crockett (30).

Att: 10,000

Ref: David Pearson (RFU).

see also
No new injuries for London Irish
15 Sep 08 |  London Irish
Leicester 24-22 London Irish
13 Sep 08 |  English
London Irish sign winger Bailey
12 Sep 08 |  London Irish
Bath 17-21 Gloucester
13 Sep 08 |  English
Jeremy Guscott column
12 Sep 08 |  English

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