Bath Rugby League secured their place in the West of England Championship Fives Final with a home win over Swindon St George ‘A’
On Saturday Bath Rugby League welcomed Swindon St George ‘A’ for the West of England Championship fives Semi Final in what would be the sides last home fixture of the season at Oakfields.
The two sides had met only a week earlier when Bath travelled to Swindon, coming out on top securing the Home Semi Final with 108 – 10 win, but going into the Semi Final Bath knew that Swindon would carry more of threat with a Final in sight.
From the kick off Bath would show there intentions early on and it wasn’t long before some good plays that Ben Thyer was able to break the defensive line and cross over for Bath’s first points of the day, Connor Breen was on kicking duties for the day and added the extras. (6-0)
Like the previous week; Swindon would put together some good plays themselves and capitalised on a Bath error, the following set saw Swindon St George’s Richard White cross over, the kick going just wide. (6-4) Bath soon bounced back and from the Kick Off Winger Luke Cador caught wide and broke multiple would be tackles to run through untouched and score under the posts, Breen adding the kick. (12-4)
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. (18-4) with Luc Thomas and Michael Harrison orchestrating the plays it was Cador who found himself wide and sprinted through with a jinking run to cross for his second of the day, Breen adding the kick. (24-4)
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. (38-4)
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. (44-4)
Half Time: Bath Rugby league 44 – 4 Swindon St George ‘A’
Swindon St George would score first in the second half with another from White, catching the home defence napping (44-8). 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. (50-8)
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. (50-12)
Connor Breen showed some excellent footwork for Bath’s next points of the day when weaved his way through the line to go over the line under the sticks, following up and converting his own try. (56-12) From the restart Harrison challenged the line feeding a pass to Prop Brandon Ball who went the length of the field breaking multiple tackles to score his first try of the day. (62-12)
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. (68-12) The final points of the day came from Forward Tom Culshaw who found himself out wide and sprint down the side of the pitch and dot down, Breen kicked the extras and the final whistle was blown. (74-12)
Final Score: Bath Rugby League 74 – 12 Swindon St George ‘A’
Head Coach Alex Burns commented on the sides win “I’m proud of the performance we put together against a much improved Swindon side. 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. It’s fantastic to see this Squad have the opportunity to create a legacy with Bath Rugby League this early in the inception of the Club”.
Club Coordinator Chris Chatten, said, “It is fantastic to finish the season with a final. 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 2019. 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. If you have not had the opportunity to watch Rugby League live yet, I would encourage you to get down to Dings RFC, Shaftesbury Park on Saturday 11th August it should be a cracker”.
Bath Rugby League will now face Cheltenham Phoenix on Saturday, 1pm Kick off at Dings RFC, Shaftesbury Park in the West of England Championship Fives Final – a side they know well having played them earlier in the season.