Premiership: Bath 14-11 Saracens

Max Clark of Bath is challenged by Chris Wyles of Saracens
Max Clark's try against Saracens was his first in the Premiership
Aviva Premiership
Bath (11) 14
Tries: Clark Pens: Homer 3
Saracens (8) 11
Tries: Maitland Pens: Lozowski Drop-goal: Lozowski

Alex Lozowski failed to kick a last-gasp penalty for Saracens as Bath held on to beat the Premiership leaders in front of a record support at the Rec.

Max Clark's try and two Tom Homer kicks put Bath 11-8 up at half-time, Sarries responding with a Lozowski penalty and Sean Maitland's touchdown.

Lozowski levelled with a drop-goal, only for Homer to kick a third penalty.

Bath, urged on by a crowd of 14,509, survived to move to within three points of Sarries at the summit.

Victory lifts Todd Blackadder's side up to second in the table, although Wasps can draw level on points with Saracens at the top if they secure a bonus-point win at Worcester on Sunday.

While both sides had a number of stars still on international duty - with Owen Farrell among four Saracens players with the England side at Twickenham and Jonathan Joseph one of three Bath men in the same team - the Premiership outfits still welcomed back a bevy of talent.

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau, making just his third Bath appearance since moving from Newport Gwent Dragons, was explosive in what amounted to little more than another cameo appearance for the Blue, Black and Whites before being forced off with concussion.

England lock Maro Itoje, back in action for Saracens after six weeks out with a hand injury, was a physical presence throughout for the league leaders, but Bath's stubborn defensive line was rarely breached, despite constant pressure.

Still, Saracens had their chances to take something from the match, but Alex Goode missed a penalty and Lozowski's kick at the end fell short of the mark, as the Londoners suffered just their second league defeat of the season.

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder: "We overcame a psychological hurdle today.

"We were outstanding in the first half, but we had to absorb a lot of pressure in the second half. The defensive performance showed the desire - the players worked so hard for each other.

"It's a psychological hurdle of winning and beating a really good side, and we will be better for that."

Saracens boss Mark McCall: "In the first half, we were poor and lucky to be maybe only three points behind at half-time.

"Bath were clearly the better team in that first half, but the second half, I thought we turned it around well.

"We had them under a lot of pressure and we had a lot of field position, and we couldn't capitalise on it. We had two or three very good chances. It's disappointing that we weren't able to score.

"I think everyone will agree, we probably should have got something more out of. Maybe a draw would have been a fair result."

Bath: Homer; Rokoduguni, Clark, Tapuai, Brew; Bowden, Fotuali'i; Catt, Dunn, Lahiff, Charteris, Attwood, Garvey (capt), Ellis, Faletau.

Replacements: Batty, Obano, Palma-Newport, Grant, Mercer, Allinson, Hastings, Wilson.

Saracens: Goode; Maitland, Tompkins, Barritt (capt), Wyles; Lozowski, Spencer; Lamositele, Brits, Figallo, Itoje, Hamilton, Rhodes, Burger, Wray.

Replacements: Saunders, Barrington, Koch, Flanagan, Brown, Wigglesworth, Bosch, Earle.

Referee: Greg Garner.

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