Leigh Wheatley 2, Connor Breen 3. Sam Hughes slotted the extras. Bath hit back hard, taking the lead thanks to tw o tries in as many minutes. Leigh Wheatley converted both to give Bath a lead. Less than three minutes later Cheltenham were once again level, Sam Hughes converting a fine solo score from Zack Taylor. An even period of forward-dominated play followed, before Bath once again edged ahead with two scores in the closing 13 minutes of the first half, both converted by the nerveless Breen.
However, Bath quickly reasserted their authority via the first of four consecutive tries that all but secured the game.
There was still time for Cheltenham to pull two tries back — both converted by Hughes — with Munro Third and Joe Hart crossing the whitewash in the final three minutes. They were more than deserved on the balance of play, but sadly little more than consolation scores. Man of the Match: Connor Breen Bath, scrum half.
The two sides had met only a week earlier when Bath travelled to Swindon, coming out on top securing the Home Semi Final with — 10 win, but going into the Semi Final Bath knew that Swindon would carry more of threat with a Final in sight.
Bath were completing sets and beginning to dominate the defence and it was Thyer who scored his second of the day with a strong carry from close range, Breen converting. The visitors forwards would continue to batter the home line but the home defence remained strong ad the result set saw Bath build on the scoreline when Joe Wildman crossed in the corner, followed shortly by a hatrick Cador try and Centre Kyle Johns scoring an interception try.
It was the returning Stevan Randall who would cross the line next with one of his trademarks carries which saw him break the defensive line and sprint to score under the posts. Breen added the extras and the half time whistle was blown. Swindon St George would score first in the second half with another from White, catching the home defence napping However the score for the visitors was short lived when after a well built set from Bath saw Breen feed the ball to the hard running Mike Rutt who crashed his way over the line, Breen following up and adding the extras.
The visitors were able to gain some territory with their next set and following a Bath error were able to score there final points of the day in the corner. No to be out done by Luke Cador, Ben Thyer was next on the score sheet getting his hat trick for the day following a line break from the kick, Breen kicking the extras. It is great going into the Final too having faced some difficult and testing periods in the game with Swindon on top. We knew this week will be a battle and that has prepared us physically and mentally.
I know the lads will give it everything they have to bring some silverware back to Bath. I would like to thank Melksham RFC our host club, they have done everything they can to support us at their fantastic facilities, we look forward to growing our relationship with the club even further in Avonvale RFC have also been a huge support to the club allowing us to train there, which has also acted as a good central point for the player base.
Wheatley adding the extras. Forward Johnny King was able to find a gap and break through and just before being tackled was able to put a wide pass away to Winger Wildman who dived over in the corner. The resilience the side has shown through a period difficult results has been outstanding and something the boys should take huge pride in. It has been evident from the sidelines the progress we have made, which is hard for the players when dealing with the disappointment of losses. Rugby League History maker Paul McShane aims for double Grand Final glory Tigers playmaker wants to make up for last year's Old Trafford disappointment and complete the perfect season for the amateur club he coaches.
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