Newcastle beat Bath for first Premiership victory

Craig Willis kicks a penalty goal for Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons earned their first Aviva Premiership victory of the season by beating Bath 19-14 at Kingston Park.

With both teams scoring one try each the result came down to penalty kicks and a conversion and Craig Willis’ performance effectively won the match.

Willis kicked four penalties and one penalty to Rhys Priestland’s three penalties.

A try from Guy Mercer enabled Bath to take an early lead which saw a visiting side packed with international quality take the initiative.

However, they were pegged back by a Rob Vickers try mid-way through the first-half.

In the second-half, a battle of the boot ensued between Rhys Priestland and Willis with the latter contributing 14 points for his side.

The match finished 19-14 to the Falcons who secure their first win since May last year, lifting them off the foot of the Premiership. Bath meanwhile remain rooted in mid-table following the defeat. Despite the losing bonus point they now sit seven points adrift of the play-off places.

Bath took the lead with a try in the fifth minute, Mercer touching the ball down following a driving maul from 10 metres out.

Matt Carley awarded the hosts a penalty in the 12th minute which was successfully kicked by Willis to make the score 3-5.

With 20 minutes gone, Vickers scored a try for Newcastle, the hooker burrowing through the Bath defence to reward a strong spell of possession and territory for the home side. Willis added the extras to give his side a five point advantage.

Priestland kept Bath in touch with a penalty in the 27th minute after Nili Latu played the ball on the floor.

Henry Thomas was sent to the sin-bin in the 35th minute following a team warning, with Willis accurate with the resultant penalty to give his side a five point lead at the interval.

Following the break Priestland notched home a penalty for the visitors to maintain pressure on the Falcons. The Welshman repeated the feat in the 57th minute, kicking Bath into the lead with a penalty.

Newcastle reclaimed their lead with a penalty from Willis with Bath unable to cope with the hosts’ substitutions as Willis sealed the victory with another penalty in the last minute.

Final Score Newcastle Falcons 19 (13) Bath 14 (8)

Scorers

Newcastle Falcons
Tries – Vickers
Pen – Willis 4
Con – Willis
Drop –

Bath
Tries – Mercer
Pen – Priestland 3
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Matthew Carley (36th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla & John Meredith.
TMO: Sean Davey.

Teams

Newcastle

15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Pablo Socino 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Michael Young , 8 Nili Latu, 7 Will Welch (C), 6 Ally Hogg, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Mark Wilson, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers

Replacements ;16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Todd Clever, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Belisario Agulla.

Bath

15. Tom Homer, 14. Horacio Agulla, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Ollie Devoto, 11. Matt Banahan, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Niko Matawalu, 8. David Denton, 7. Guy Mercer (c), 6. Leroy Houston, 5. Charlie Ewels, 4. Matt Garvey, 3. Henry Thomas, 2. Ross Batty, 1. Nick Auterac

Replacements : 16. Rob Webber, 17. Max Lahiff, 18. David Wilson, 19. Dominic Day, 20. Francois Louw, 21. Jonathan Evans, 22. George Ford, 23. Anthony Watson

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