Ryan Lamb was on fine form against Bath in the Guinness A League
GLOUCESTER maintained their solid run in the Guinness A League last night with a 34-17 victory over Bath at the Rec.
Bath, fielding a number of first team players, started well and could have scored as early as the first minute when Andy Higgins carried on Andy Dunne's superb break, but the centre was hauled down just short of the line.
But it was the young Gloucester side that went into a 9-0 lead through the boot of centre Ryan Lamb after Bath were penalised for straying off-side in midfield, guilty of killing the ball and pulling down at the line-out.
Things got a whole lot worse for Bath when Kye Palm intercepted Spencer Davey's speculative pass to touch down in between the sticks. Lamb converted.
Bath did register a fine score on the stroke of half-time to haul themselves back into the game when hooker Rob Hawkins picked a tremendous line to step two Gloucester defenders for a try near the posts which was converted by Andy Dunne.
The home side started the second half well and Dunne slotted over a penalty to reduce the deficit to six points, but Gloucester's Lamb cancelled out the advantage a few minutes later before number eight Mark George was driven over the Bath line for a try.
The lead was further extended in the 62nd minute when Lamb added his fifth penalty to give Gloucester an unassailable 27-10 lead. Gloucester added gloss with another converted push over score for number eight George.
Bath did have the final say when Mike Mangeolles skipped past two tackles for a converted try on the stroke of full time.
GLOUCESTER RUGBY: 15 J Goodridge, 14 K Palm (1t), 13 G King, 12 R Lamb (2c, 5p), 11 S Hunt, 10 B Davies (McNeil), 9 D Pointon, 1 T Sigley, 2 B Gerry (Williams), 3 J Foster (Moran), 4 J Pendlebury, 5 Q Davids (Parkes), 6 D Miller, 7 T Rawlins, 8 M George (2t)
16 J Parkes, 17 B Williams, 18 K Moran, 19 W Jones, 20 C McNeil, 21 V Lanciano, 22 D Touy.
Speaking straight after the game, skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV that losing at home to Bath, in front of a tremendous home support, was desperately disappointing and that the whole team were hurting in the dressing room.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.