Northampton Saints were denied a draw against Bath Rugby with the last kick of the game as Dan Biggar’s conversion attempt to level the scores at the Recreation Ground hit the post.
Saints were behind for much of the second half but a Tom Collins try with just two minutes to play gave Biggar a chance to level and share the points.
But the Welsh International fly-half hit the woodwork and the bounce of the ball favoured the hosts to leave Saints with just a losing bonus point from what was a largely even Gallagher Premiership contest.
The damp and greasy conditions at the Recreation Ground made handling conditions tricky and unsurprisingly a nip-and-tuck opening 20 minutes was punctuated with errors.
Bath failed to capitalise on the game’s first opportunity to score from the tee after Saints were penalised at the scrum. Soon after the home side were forced into an early change too, substituting Max Wright for injured centre Aled Brew.
Despite the conditions Saints continued to try to play with ambition and it was the visitors who notched the first points of the game when Cobus Reinach weaved his way onto a kick through in the Bath 22 to score after pouncing on some loose play from the hosts. Biggar's conversion was good to make it 7-0.
Saints continued to pressure the home side, but with 10 minutes of the half left to play Bath fly-half Freddie Burns intercepted a pass from deep into his own half and had the legs to run the length of the field to touch the ball down.
A second missed penalty attempt from Bath meant scores were level 7-7 at the break.
Bath poked their noses in front with a penalty after 10 minutes of the second half and increased their lead further when Joe Cokanasiga touched down to make it 17-7 with a quarter of the game to go.
A Dan Biggar penalty brought Saints back to within a try though as the visitors rallied, and when Alex Mitchell darted through to superbly release Collins for his first try of the season, the grandstand finale was set.
But while Biggar’s strike was sweet, the ball drifted agonisingly off target and cannoned into open play to leave a nervous home crowd celebrating.
Saints picked up a point in defeat and will be on the road again next weekend as they travel to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol.