The return of the Aviva Premiership saw Saints come close at the Recreation Ground but lost frustratingly at Bath to a last minute Rhys Priestland penalty.
Both side opened with moments of threat, Saints pushing their way immediately into Bath’s 22 before the home side returned with an attack of their own, getting inches from Saints line before Semesa Rokoduguni knocked the ball forwards.
But it was to be the home side that got on the scoreboard first. A strong attack from Bath got them close before Paul Grant exploited a gap in Saints’ defence, the number eight scooted through and over the line.
Saints mounted a good attack of their own in return and were eventually awarded a penalty at the break down right in front of the posts. Stephen Myler sent his placekick through to reduce the deficit to two.
Myler gave Saints the lead on the 24-minute mark with another penalty but the home side were straight back into it. Rokoduguni cut a lovely line through Saints’ defence and scored Bath’s second on his 100th appearance for the club.
Bath were straight back on the attack again and looking dangerous with the ball. Saints were pushed back well into their 22 and Tom Homer thought he was over but referee Wayne Barnes deemed him to have been held up over the line. At the resulting scrum, however, Bath were awared a penalty try by Barnes, Preistland adding the easy extras just before the break.
Bath came back from half-time with the same intensity and Priestland sent a penalty through the posts moments after the restart. Saints tried to counter and a crossfield from Myler found Ben Foden, the winger offloaded to Harry Mallinder but the centre was pushed into touch.
Bath looked dangerous in attack once again and a slinking run from Ben Tapuai got the home side back into Saints’ 22 before a crunching hit from Ahsee Tuala forced the Bath centre to knock on.
This time it was Saints’ turn to attack and two good breaks from Jamie Gibson got them close to Bath’s tryline. Patient play from the away side gets them the score through Ben Foden on the wing. Myler added the touchline conversion to bring the game back within a score.
Bath went down to 14 men as Kane Palma-Newport was sent to the sin-bin and Saints made the most of their extra man. More patient attack saw Api Ratuniyarawa over the tryline. Myler converted the score to give Saints the lead.
But the home side respond immediately. Chris Cook chases his own chip and gets a hand to the ball just before it goes dead. Priestland added the extras to see Bath’s lead back to 6 points.
More drama ensued and Saints worked to score another. Jamie Gibson was the scorer adter another attack from Saints, Myler added the extras to send Saint back into the lead and score his 2,500th point in a Saints shirt.
Bath earned a penalty at the scrum and Preistland lined up for the posts but sent his nudge just wide with two minutes left on the clock. He got another chance almost immmedaitely though and with the clock run down he sent this attempt through to give Bath a last minute win.
BATH Homer; Rokoduguni, Clark, Tapuai, Wilson, Preistland, Fotauli’I; Catt, Dunn, Lahiff, Stooke, Ewels, Ellis, Louw, Grant
Subs – Batty, Obano, Palma-Newport, Denton, Mercer, Cook, Hastings, Davies
SAINTS Tuala; Pisi, Tuitavake, Mallinder, Foden, Myler, Groom; A Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Paterson, Day, Gibson, Harrison, Dickinson
Subs – Clare, E Waller, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Clark, Dickson, Hutchinson, Wilson
11 mins BATH Try Grant 5-0
16 mins SAINTS Pen Myler 5-3
24 mins SAINTS Pen Myler 5-6
26mins BATH Try Rokoduguni Con Priestland 12-6
36 mins BATH Pen Try Con Priestland 19-6
39 mins SAINTS Pen Myler 19-9
HALF TIME Bath 19 Saints 9
42 mins BATH Pen Priestland 22-9
59 mins SAINTS Try Foden Con Myler 22-14
69 mins SAINTS Try Ratuniyarawa Con Myler 22-23
70 mins BATH Try Cook Con Priestland 29-23
76 mins SAINTS Try Gibson Con myler 29-30
79 mins BATH Pen Priestland 32-30