Bristol dish more misery for Van Graan's Bath
MATCH REPORT: Bristol Bears earned bragging rights with a hard-fought 15-13 away win over Bath at the Recreation Ground.
Bristol headed into the fixture with a slight advantage given their 31-29 victories at the Ashton Gate in September.
James Williams and Siva Naulago crossed the whitewash for Bristol, while Miles Reid scored Bath’s only five-pointer.
The results mean that Johann van Graan’s Bath remains at the bottom of the Premiership table.
Williams applied the acrobatic finishing touches to a sensational break and offload from Man of the Match Semi Radradra midway through the first half, but Miles Reid’s close-range try and Piers Francis’ penalty gave the hosts a narrow lead at the interval.
The Bears flew out of the blocks after half-time and retook the lead courtesy of Siva Naulago’s dynamic finish in the right-hand corner.
Francis’ second penalty edged Bath back in front, before MacGinty returned the favour 14 minutes from time to set up a tense finale.
With time ticking away, Francis saw his long-range penalty effort drift wide of the posts as Pat Lam’s men held on for a second successive win in the Premiership.
Pens: Francis 2
For Bristol Bears:
Tries: Williams, Naulago
Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Cameron Redpath, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Matt Gallagher, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Ben Spencer (captain), 8 Miles Reid, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Josh Bayliss, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Beno Obano
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Will Stuart, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Chris Cloete
Bristol Bears: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Siva Naulago, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 James Williams, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Harry Randall (captain), 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Fitz Harding, 6 Sam Jeffries, 5 Chris Vui, 4 Joe Joyce, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 George Kloska, 19 Jake Heenan, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Sam Bedlow, 23 Ioan Lloyd
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest, Gareth Holsgrove
TMO: Rowan Kitt