Bath narrowly won 18-17 away at Gloucester in a fiery Aviva Premiership contest that saw the hosts reduced to 11 for the final minutes of the match.

Referee Tim Wigglesworth brandished five yellows and two reds in a game where Bath needed a penalty try in the penultimate minute to secure victory.

Gloucester’s Sila Puafisi saw red for a dangerous tackle just moments before Bath’s Stuart Hooper got the first try of the game.

Henry Trinder touched down for the Cherry and Whites, but they saw Tavis Knoyle sent off for punching in a 79th minute brawl at Kingsholm.

Billy Twelvetrees kicked between the sticks to give Gloucester a 3-0 lead just five minutes into the game.

George Ford levelled with a penalty of his own, before the home side went back in front.
A minute later, though, Bath had Carl Fearns sin-binned for hands in the ruck, whilst the visitors also saw Matt Garvey spend 10 minutes on the side for a poor tackle on Gloucester’s Dan Evans.

Despite being a man down for the best part of the last 15 minutes of the first half, Bath managed to keep the score to just 9-6 at the break.

Just 13 minutes into the second period, the tables were turned as Gloucester were now the ones down to 14 men.

But this time, it was for the rest of the match, as Puafisi was sent off for a dangerous tackle after poleaxing Bath’s Nick Abendanon.

And they did what Gloucester couldn’t by making the extra man advantage count, as Hooper touched down after being driven over from the lineout.

Yet, Bath lost lock David Attwood to the bin, making it 14-men all round. This time Gloucester pounced, with Twelvetrees kicking his fourth penalty to put the hosts ahead once again.

Trinder extended the home side’s lead, after running through the defence to make it 17-11. However, the conversion was missed, and it would later prove decisive as some west country drama was about to unfold.

Just three minutes later, Mike Tindall and Huia Edmonds were shown yellow cards for Gloucester, and it would get worse for the hosts, as Bath were awarded a penalty try as a driving maul collapsed.

With Ford ready and waiting to take his conversion that would put his side in the lead if successful, a mass brawl broke out.

It ended with Knoyle being sent off for punching Bath’s Leroy Houston, with the youngster initially landing two blows before a full-scale riot broke out.

Eventually, Ford was able to take his kick and kept his cool to earn Bath their first victory at Kingsholm since 2006.

The win all but secures Bath’s place in the season-ending play-offs, whilst Gloucester remain in ninth will little to play for but pride at the end of the campaign.

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