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 Saturday, 14 December, 2002, 16:14 GMT
Bath bounce back
Aisea Havili
Havili feels the force of Kevin Maggs' defence
Parker Pen Challenge Cup
Round 2 (2nd Leg)
Bath 38-10 Bridgend (64-38 agg)

Bath cruised into a the quarter-finals of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup with a convincing win over Bridgend.

Full-back Iain Balshaw grabbed two of his side's four tries as Bath comfortable clawed back a two point deficit from the first leg.

"Balsh is an exciting talent and it's great to have him back on board," said Bath coach Brian Smith.

"His speed and electricity is infectious."

Match details
Bath 38
Tries: Blashaw (2), Crockett, Maggs
Cons: Barkley (3)
Pens: Barkley (4)
Bridgend 10
Tries: G Thomas
Cons: Carter
Pens: Warlow
He added: "The Lions Tour knocked him back a peg or two but if he continues to play like this I feel he's sure to be a starting player in the England XV."

French club Montauban now await Smith's team in the next round.

Bath were missing a host of big names through injury, but Bridgend failed to capitalise and managed a sole try from Gareth Thomas.

Things began to go wrong for the visitors when Welsh international flanker Nathan Budgett was sin-binned for a professional foul in the 10th minute when the sides were at 3-3.

Within three minutes Balshaw had finished off Gareth Cooper's break from the base of the scrum and Olly Barkley added the conversion.

Bath, looking much the quicker side, added another penalty through Barkley on 20 minutes before Budgett returned to the action.

To make matters worse, Bridgend lost fly-half Craig Warlow with a suspected fractured cheekbone in the 13th minute, forcing full-back Matt James to fill in.

Bath full-back Iain Balshaw
Iain Balshaw looked back to his best
Balshaw collected his second try on 28 minutes, hacking on to score in the corner after Bridgend had lost possession in the Bath half.

The Welsh team's best spell came just before half-time when James charged down an attempted clearance by Barkley who only just managed to make a try saving tackle.

Bridgend maintained the pressure through a series of scrums which eventually saw Bath flanker Adam Vander yellow-carded and Gareth Thomas capitalised with an injury time try in the corner.

Anthony Carter converted.

There was still time for Barkley to establish a 21-10 interval lead with another penalty.

It was nearly 20 minutes into the second half before Bath added a third try as Alex Crockett latching onto Barkley's pass to score.

The fly-half landed the conversion and added a penalty 10 minutes later.

Ireland centre Kevin Maggs put the result beyond doubt in the dying minutes when he forced his way over for the fourth try, converted by Barkley.


Bath: I Balshaw, S Danielli, K Maggs, A Crockett, T Boyce, O Barkley, G Cooper, D Barnes, J Humphreys (capt), J Mallett, S Borthwick, A Beattie, G Thomas, A Vander, N Thomas.
Reps: A Williams, A Galasso, C Malone, J Scaysbrook, Long, Blake, Lloyd.

Bridgend: M James; R Mustoe, G Thomas (capt), J Taumalolo, A Havili; C Warlow, S Martens; C Loader, G Williams, C Horsman, D Jones, A Moore, N Budgett, R Bryan, C Harris.
Reps: H Harries, Carter, J Funnell, P Booth, B Phillips, M Molitika, S van Rensburgh.

Ref: Joel Dume (France).


Heineken Cup

Parker Pen Cup

EUROPEAN STATISTICS
See also:

06 Dec 02 | European
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