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Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam

Johan van Graan has quietly set about improving every facet of the West Country club and results are starting to come

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Bath's Worcester imports score in win over Newcastle

By PA
A smiling Ted Hill of Bath after the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Newcastle Falcons and Bath Rugby at Kingston Park on November 05, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Bath made it back-to-back league wins with a 17-10 victory over Newcastle in the 250th Premiership match to be held at Kingston Park.

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Adam Radwan gave the home side the perfect start inside seven minutes, but they were pegged back by Ted Hill on his first start for Bath since his move from financially stricken Worcester.

Billy Searle came off the bench in the second half and made an instant impression, winning and converting a penalty, before Ollie Lawrence extended the lead with a try following a fine low kick from Max Ojomoh.

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A Brett Connon penalty brought a consolation bonus point for the hosts, but the win was the Somerset side’s third in a row at Kingston Park.

Jamie Blamire was restored to the starting line-up for the Falcons, who also had George McGuigan back on the bench after he was released from England duty in the week.

Bath looked to build on their 27-14 win over Northampton in their previous game, where they ended a club-record run of seven successive Premiership defeats.

But it was the hosts who got off to a flying start – a clever 10m lineout in the seventh minute, coupled with a great pass from captain Michael Young to the right wing, ended with Radwan going over in the corner and Connon converting.

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Lawrence found a way through the rearguard nine minutes from the break, but a combination of George Wacokecoke and Pete Lucock stopped him in his tracks and forced a knock on.

However, the relief was temporary as former Worcester captain Hill powered over from close range before George Worboys added the extras to bring the scores level.

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It was arguably no more than they deserved, and they continued to probe at the start of the second half.

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Miles Reid was stopped in his tracks by a crunching Callum Chick tackle to end a promising attack inside the first five minutes.

The Falcons then had a chance to nudge back in front with a penalty on 49 minutes when their opponents were penalised for not rolling away, but Connon failed to find the target from 45 yards.

And they were punished five minutes later when substitute Searle took a high tackle and stepped up to convert the 40m penalty that followed to hand the visitors the lead.

The lead was extended to 10 on the hour mark. Good work from Jonathan Joseph found Ojomoh and he threaded a brilliant kick through to Lawrence on the left, who went over.

Searle added the extras and Bath closed the game out, despite Connon’s late penalty, to condemn the north-east side to a fifth league defeat in six.

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