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Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 21:42 GMT
Bourgoin 9-22 Bath
HEINEKEN CUP
Bath number eight Isaac Fea'unati
Bourgoin (6) 9
Pens: Peclier 3
Bath (3) 22
Tries: Walshe, Lipman, Cheeseman
Cons: Barkley 2
Pen: Barkley
Att: 8,300
Bath booked their place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals with a hard-fought away win over French side Bourgoin.

The visitors had to fight back from a 6-3 half-time deficit, and were grateful for a second-half try from Nick Walshe that turned the match.

Walshe's 54th-minute score brought Bath into the game, with further tries from Michael Lipman and Tom Cheeseman wrapping up the victory.

Bath's victory was the first by an away team in Bourgoin this season.

The victory also marked Bath's fifth win from five games, making them one of only two sides - along with Sale - with a 100% record in the tournament this season.

Alexandre Peclier and Olly Barkley swapped early penalties as both sides sought to establish themselves in front of the fervent home supporters at the Stade Pierre Rajon.

Try-scoring chances were few and far between as the defences came out on top of some inventive back-line play with Michael Stephenson's pace and Barkley's distribution catching the eye for Bath.

Peclier struck a late penalty before half-time, to give Bourgoin a narrow lead at the break and Bath were lucky that David Janin could not take a cross-field kick cleanly with the try-line beckoning early in the second half.

But Walshe's try and Barkley's conversion took Bath into a 10-6 lead, and their side never relinquished the initiative.

Walshe showed electric pace off the mark as he swooped on a loose ball 20m out and darted over with the Bourgoin defence left flat-footed.

Lipman extended the advantage with a well-worked second try out wide, which was brilliantly converted by Barkley from the touchline.

Bath's final score owed much to young number eight Gareth Delve, a player whose performances have propelled him to the brink of a Wales call-up.

Delve powered through the Bourgoin defence before offloading in the tackle for Cheeseman to score Bath's third.


  • Bath coach Brian Ashton:

    "We put Bourgoin on the back foot by wanting to play positive rugby.

    "I'm delighted for the team - the key is in believing in what we can do.

    "We have the players and the talent to do well and we showed that in the second half, but there is still work to be done."


    Bourgoin: Peclier, Janin, Bousses, Giorgadze, Coux, Boyet, M. Forest, Milloud, Cabello, Peyron, Pape, Del-Fava, Frier, Petrilli, Bonnaire.
    Replacements: Bonet, Cardinali, Jooste, Monzeglio, Campeggia, Carmona, Davis.

    Bath: Stephenson, Bory, Cheeseman, Finau, Welsh, Barkley, Walshe, Flatman, Dixon, Bell, Borthwick, Grewcock, Short, Lipman, Fea'unati.
    Replacements: Mears, Stevens, Loader, Delve, Hudson, Williams, Malone.

    Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)


  • SEE ALSO
    Heineken Cup
    18 Dec 05 |  European Club
    Leeds 25-14 Bath
    08 Jan 06 |  English
    Glasgow 10-29 Bath
    16 Dec 05 |  European Club
    Bourgoin 30-28 Leinster
    17 Dec 05 |  European Club


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