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Bath hold on for epic victory

Tuesday 31st January 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 31/01/2006 16:07

- 31/01/2006 16:07

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Bath hold on for epic victory

Tuesday 31st January 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 31/01/2006 16:07

- 31/01/2006 16:07

Bath Rugby, down to 13 men for the final 10 minutes, produced one of the most heroic victories in Heineken Cup history as they knocked double European champions Leicester out of the tournament on Saturday.

Bath fly-half Chris Malone kicked five goals – two of them from inside his own half – but his side needed an incredible defensive performance when they lost both props to the sin-bin with 70 minutes up on the clock.

Goal-kickers Andy Goode (Tigers) and Malone traded early penalty goals at a packed Walkers Stadium, and the sides were locked at 6-all after half an hour.

Neither side could boast a genuine try-scoring opportunity in the first half, so it was left to the kickers to trouble the scorers. Australian
Malone edged his side ahead with a monster 54m goal, but the applause had barely died when Goode replied from bang in front and the sides went into the break level 9-all.

Goode opened the second-half scoring with his fourth goal, but another huge kick from Malone kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Tigers centre Danny Hipkiss went close to the game’s opening five-pointer, and Goode added insult to injury by missing a penalty goal from a handy position. A surge from impressive Bath winger David Bory set up the position for Malone’s fifth goal, but the tide began turning the Tigers’ way when replacement Bath prop David Flatman was yellow-carded for a scrum infringement.

Two scrums later, Bath’s other prop, Taufa’ao Filise, was yellow-carded for a professional foul, and the Tigers suddenly had a two-man advantage.

The home side attacked the Bath line as the clock ticked down, but the defenders dug in and turned over a crucial ball on their try-line in the final minute to seal a famous victory.

Bath play the winners of the Biarritz Olympique-Sale Sharks match in the semi-finals.

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