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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 April 2006, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Leicester 12-15 Bath
Bath celebrate their remarkable victory
Leicester: (9) 12
Pens: Goode 4
Bath (9) 15
Pens: Malone 5
Bath squeezed into the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup after holding off Leicester with just 13 players in a frenetic end at the Walkers Stadium.

An attritional first half ended level at 9-9, thanks to three penalties each from Andy Goode and Chris Malone.

After a further exchange of penalties, Malone put Bath ahead on 62 minutes.

And Bath held on by the skin of their teeth in the face of intense pressure, despite having David Flatman and Taufa'ao Filise sin-binned late on.

Both sides struggled to find quick ball in the first half, and it was no surprise that all the points came from the boot of the two goal-kickers.

Goode gave his side an early lead with a straightforward penalty after two minutes, with Malone replying four minutes later.

With so much at stake, both teams tended to stick to the conservative option and breaks were at a premium, with Leicester scrum-half Harry Ellis and Bath winger David Bory among the few players to find any chinks.

Leicester's Leon Lloyd tries to stop Olly Barkley's progress
Space was at a premium, with the two defences on top

Another Goode kick restored Leicester's lead, but Bath again hit back through Malone in a tit-for-tat scoring battle.

Malone fired his side ahead with a monster penalty from 10m inside his own half before Goode ended the first-half scoring with another kick.

Leicester's dominant scrum became more of a factor after the break, forcing Bath onto the back foot for much of the early part of the second half.

Goode put Leicester ahead again, only for Malone to peg them back again and then punish Leicester with his fifth penalty after Bath finally strung a few phases of play together.

Bath made a mess of collecting a restart and almost paid a heavy price as Martin Corry was held up inches short of the line.

With 10 minutes remaining, the Tigers' scrum demolished Bath, leading to yellow cards - just two minutes apart - for props Flatman and Filise.

But the second sin-binning forced the referee to order uncontested scrums as Bath did not have enough front-row specialists.

Leicester monopolised possession for the rest of the match, but a series of dropped passes and failures to exploit overlaps allowed Bath to hold on for a famous victory.

  • Bath coach Brian Ashton:

  • "It was heroic and sometimes desperate defence by us in those closing minutes.

    "Leicester looked like they might score four or five times but we dug deep.

    "In terms of the semi-final, we will have to step up our performance or we won't be going any further."

  • Leicester coach Pat Howard:

  • "We had a mountain of chances and we didn't take them so as a consequence you can't have any complaints.

    "If you're two men up and there is enough space out there, you should be able to execute.

    "But we had plenty of chances before the closing minutes."

    Leicester: Vesty, Murphy, Lloyd, Smith, Hipkiss, Goode, Ellis, Rowntree, Chuter, White, Kay, L. Deacon, Jennings, Moody, Corry.
    Replacements: A. Tuilagi for Lloyd (62), Healey for Ellis (58), Buckland for Chuter (40), Abraham for Jennings (67).
    Not Used: Holford, Cullen, Cornwell.

    Bath: Stephenson, Higgins, Crockett, Barkley, Bory, Malone, Walshe, Filise, Mears, Bell, Hudson, Grewcock, Beattie, Delve, Fea'unati.
    Replacements: Cheeseman for Crockett (67), Flatman for Bell (50), Short for Hudson (37), Lipman for Delve (62).
    Not Used: Dixon, Williams, Best.

    Sin Bin: Flatman (68), Filise (71).

    Att: 32,500

    Ref: Joel Judge (France).

    Interview: Bath director of rugby Brian Ashton

    Interview: Leicester fly-half Andy Goode

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