Gloucester, on the other hand, carved out numerous scoring opportunities but couldn't finish them off due to a combination of good Saints defence and lack of accuracy with ball in hand.
Gloucester were still well and truly in the game at half time and could, and maybe should have gone into the dressing room with a lead, but two quick Saints scores at the start of the second half took the game away from them.
A late comeback was duly mounted and a losing bonus at the very least was certainly on the cards but it wasn't mean to be on the day.
The final scoreline was probably an unfair reflection of the part that Gloucester played in the game and plenty of positives can be taken from it but defeat still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
The game kicked off in near perfect conditions with not a cloud in the sky, little breeze to speak of and a firm pitch underfoot.
The Gloucester pack won an early moral psychological battle as they won a penalty at the game's first scrum. Nicky Robinson stepped up and confidently kicked the penalty for a 3-0 lead.
Northampton came back strongly from the restart playing with the confidence that comes from having enjoyed such a good season to date.
Pinning Gloucester back into their own 22, an Azam lineout throw was loosely tapped back and gave the home side a real chance with Fernandez Lobbe held up over the line when a score looked likely. The Saints duly forced a penalty from the 5m scrum and Myler levelled the scores after 8 minutes.
Gloucester reclaimed the restart and enjoyed some good possession in and around the Saints 22 and earned a more than kickable penalty. However, a quick tap and go resulted only in a turnover and a kick downfield.
From the lineout, Saints moved quick ball off the top and Chris Ashton came off his wing to burst through the midfield defence and had more than enough pace to make the line for the game's opening try. Myler converted for 10-3.
Mike Tindall rose to claim the restart and Northampton conceded another breakdown penalty but Robinson's kick at goal was just wide left.
Charlie Sharples then very nearly broke clean through as he stepped at pace through the initial defensive line but a vital steal in the shadow of the posts got Saints off the hook.
It had been a good spell for Gloucester but they had nothing to show for their efforts and nearly paid the price as a Foden half break almost created an opening for Ashton but a long looping pass evaded the winger.
A counter attack from deep created the next opportunity for Gloucester points as the home side conceded yet another penalty at the ruck area earning a rebuke for skipper Hartley but Robinson was again wide of the left upright with his penalty attempt.
And, again, Gloucester were to rue the missed chance as a Foden counter attack from his own 22 almost put Ashton in for his second but for a saving tackle by Tindall. Gloucester regrouped but were caught offside in the backs as the ball came back and Myler's penalty made it 13-3 after 28 minutes.
But Gloucester stunned the home crowd with a superb try on 32 minutes. From a set scrum, the ball was swiftly moved right along the backs and James Simpson-Daniel tied the home defence in knots with a weaving run before offloading to Charlie Sharples who battled his way to the line. Robinson's excellent conversion made it 13-10.
Myler slotted a penalty to make it 16-10 as Rory Lawson couldn't get away from the tackle area quickly enough for referee Small's liking and a key few minutes before half time beckoned.
Gloucester were then seemingly denied a case for a penalty try as more good back play gave Sharples a chance to chip over the top of the last man.
Saints' centre James Downey got back and slapped the ball dead without making any attempt to play the ball, a tactic the Gloucester camp thought to be both illegal and try saving but the decision was a 22 drop out.
Gloucester seemed to have a real cause for grievance but the Saints went into half time with a 16-10 lead despite the Kingsholm outfit having enjoyed more territory and possession.
Jonny May nearly got Gloucester off to a dream start as Adam Eustace took a quick tap on halfway and May took the ball on before chipping over the Saints defence only for the bounce of the ball to go the way of the covering Stephen Myler to deny the young centre a memorable score.
Once again, Northampton took their chance when it was presented. Scrum half Lee Dickson was at the heart of things, battling his way into the Gloucester 22 before Myler and Ashton linked to pop an offload to Hartley who took a good line to score. Myler converted for 23-10.
Robinson promptly made it 23-13 with a penalty for blocking but Northampton were quickly back in full stride, claiming the kick off before Dickson's flat pass found Ashton coming onto it at pace and the winger scored with ease. Myler's conversion opened a 30-13 gap.
Gloucester dug deep and Saints' skipper Hartley was yellow carded for denying Gloucester possession in the shadow of the home posts giving Robinson the chance to reduce the gap to 30-16 whilst Myler was off target two minutes later.
Still showing ambition, Gloucester were rewarded with a try for Dave Attwood as they stretched the 14 man defence with a quick tap and some quick recycling of the ball. Robinson's conversion got the Cherry and Whites back within a score at 30-23 with 15 minutes to play.
However, Geraghty restored the ten point lead almost immediately as Gloucester stole ball illegally from a ruck just outside their own 22.
Both sides had chances as the game went into the final few minutes as Geraghty climbed highest to claim an up and under only to be hauled down by Olly Morgan whilst Nicky Robinson picked off an errant Saints pass but couldn't go all the way due to the numbers around him.
Redpath's side fought desperately to try and get something from the game and there were opportunities but the ball wouldn't quite go to hand at the vital moment and salt was rubbed into the wounds as ball was turned over in the last minute for Bruce Reihana to break clear and hand the score on a plate to Ashton against the run of play.
It was that sort of day for Gloucester. So much endeavour and yet so little to show for it.
|Northampton Saints Score Card|
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|