Only three minutes later, they opened up the United defence when the referee gave a free-kick at a scrum, and Brad Davies scythed through to increase Gloucester's lead. But Bath struck back straight away, when Davey scorched down the right wing after Gloucester had turned over the ball in their own half.
Mercier struck a penalty on the half hour, when Bath United were penalised for not binding at the scrum. But as half-time approached, Blayne Shreeve took a pass off the line-out and made a marvellous individual run for the line. Although he was just dragged down short, the ball was recycled and swung left, where Davey crossed for his second try.
The conversion left Bath one point shy of Gloucester, but Mercier converted another penalty on the stroke of half-time, making it 14-18 at the break.
The first score after half-time too came from Mercier's boot but Bath United levelled through a superb try, Davey's third of the night: Dave Ward, a half-time replacement, broke out from a Bath line-out in their own 22; Gary Holmes matched him for pace, taking the ball further into the Gloucester half; the visitors were stretched, and Perry and Shreeve provided the links to Davey. Hughes added the conversion.
Hughes gave Bath the lead for the first time when the referee penalised Gloucester at the scrum. Having staved off some Gloucester pressure on their line, Bath then extended their lead thanks to a well-timed pass by Jonny Faamatuianu to Ryan Davis, who scored.
Gloucester gave it their best until the end but could not find the score that would have got them back into the match.
GLOUCESTER A: 15. J Goodridge 14. R Thirlby 13. J Adams 12. B Davies 11. K Palm (Swatkins, 12) 10. L Mercier 9. R Burford 1. P Price 2. R Elloway (McMillan, 68) 3. T Sigley (Lewis, 79) 4. A Davidson 5. A Eustace (Brown, 62) 6. J Boer (Havaltua, 41) 7. D Miller 8. L Narraway.
Replacements: 16. R McMillan 17. A Lewis 18. P Browne 19. L Havaltua 20. L Liggitt 21. P Swatkins 22. S Martin.