What a Game

first_imgA little bit late but I thought I would tell you a story of the match that I was fortunate enough to watch live last week. An old friend is shortly due to announce upon the world that he loves and cares for one woman and that he wishes to make this legally binding in front of their closest friends and family. In short he is getting married and as such is tradition a stag do should be arranged before the wedding to celebrate his coming nuptials. The venue for this manly bonding session was the city of Bath and as my unnamed friend is a massive Bath Fan (I think if you were to cut him open you would find blue and black blood – along with copious amounts of Blackthorns cider) we planned to watch Bath play Exeter at the Rec.Now usually when I go to watch bath in the rec I am stuck in the elements-exposed temporary East stand whose name changes along with the seasons Sponsors. This time was a bit different as we had forked out a little bit extra for hospitality in the illustrious suite as wanted the match experience to be a little bit special. We duly arrived about 11.45 to get started on the complimentary bar and in time for lunch which was about quarter past twelve. Anyway needless to say our hangovers from the previous night were not too bad and we tucked into the veritable feast and free flowing beverages. Kick off was at 2.30pm and the game was due to be televised live on Sky. During lunch we had the pleasure of a few current Bath squad players who were resting their boots this weekend who gave us a few insights from the dressing room as to battle plan and tactics for maintaining an undefeated record against their Exeter rivals.Just before kick-off we took our seats under cover in the South Stand and awaited a Bath onslaught. The distant beating of the chief’s supporters war drums didn’t affect our optimism and spirits. We were not disappointed and Bath started like a runaway train, controlling possession from the start, Nick “bendy” Abendanon’s darting run setting up Ben Williams to cross in the right hand corner. This immediately silenced the war drums and Bath broke tackles across the pitch as the chiefs struggled to deal with waves of attacks from the hosts. The home crowd erupted once again as the Exeter defence struggled to bring down Francois Louw and Stephen Donald found Kyle Eastmond in acres of space on the right wing and he crossed the line again in the corner.The visitors finally strung some phases of possession together midway through the first half and did briefly show a glimpse of the form that has them scoring so many tries this season. Jason Shoemark and Tom Johnson gave Brett Sturgess the chance to trundle over in front of us in the in the corner.Bath remained dominant for the rest of the half and the score at half time was 15-5 thanks to Donald’s boot.Exeter improved in the early stages of the second half and reduced the deficit with a Steenson penalty but the hosts hit them with another killer blow moments later as the impressive Eastmond and Abendanon shipped the ball out for Louw to score.Still the Chiefs refused to lie down though and, after Dan Hipkiss was sent to the sin bin with quarter of an hour remaining, replacement Ignacio Mieres took advantage of the extra man by using an overlap as a decoy and stepping inside Tom Biggs to score.Danny Hipkiss didn’t make it back onto the pitch from his sin binning as he interfered with the ball while in the sin bin. For the last ten minutes of the match the match was very nervous for the home crowd as Bath faced wave upon wave of Exeter attacks. Fierce tackles and tryline defence kept the visitors at bay for the last 20 minutes of the match much of which was with 14 men.The score remained 23-15 for 8 minutes after the final whistle was due to blow as both sides battled it out for the respective bonus points. A treat for the spectators and a testament to all 29 players on the pitch who all had the foresight to think about the season after the match result had been decided.A well-deserved victory to the hosts but a massive thank you to the visitors as well for putting on such an emotional and nail biting show.last_img read more