FAN’S VIEW: Bath firmly on course for Amlin progress as Rec deadline looms
Bath Rugby supporter Glyn Edwards gives his take on events at The Rec….
The fourth five-point haul of this season’s European campaign was secured with an assured performance in Calvisano last weekend, and attention now returns to matters at The Rec.
The next ten days not only sees the visit of Premiership rivals Saracens, but the very future of the famous old ground as the home of Bath Rugby should soon be determined, as December 30 marks the expiry of the Statutory Notice relating to the Charity Commission Scheme.
Calvisano did really well to beat the expected wintry weather on Saturday but, despite the heavy nature of the pitch once the snow had been cleared, their team had no answer to Bath’s successful mixture of forward power and backline panache.
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The Italians fought bravely and gamely – as they had done for most of the match at the Rec a week before – but Bath always had sufficient in the tank to accelerate away from their semi-professional opponents when required.
Always, that is, until the very last play, when Calvisano’s gutsy persistence was rewarded with the try that their efforts deserved, and which their enthusiastic supporters had craved since Brett Sharman began Bath’s scoring by burrowing over in the second minute.
Horacio Agulla – with a hat-trick – Tom Biggs and Jack Cuthbert all touched down as Bath comfortably secured the try-bonus point, and Josh Ovens’ try merely confirmed his highly-impressive man-of-the-match performance in the number seven shirt.
The travelling Bath support appeared to constitute at least one third of the small crowd – perhaps even approaching one half, and the comprehensive win was some reward for the varied efforts expended in getting to the game to support the BW&B.
Several flights from the UK were delayed or cancelled, and many were routed via places they had not intended to visit at all – with Venice and Milan featuring unexpectedly in impromptu travel itineries.
As with all excursions abroad – and despite the satisfaction of victory on foreign soil, accompanied by an enjoyable stay in interesting places - it will be nice to be back at home on The Rec this weekend though.
It is ‘our’ home – that of the club, the team, and the supporters – and one that we share with other sports and activities, and will continue to do so after the Charity Commission Scheme for a significant enhancement of the rugby facilities goes ahead, should agreement be finally reached.
Two weeks ago – in the Bath City Fan’s View column published by the Chronicle – it was stated that “plans for the Recreation Ground to be taken from the people of Bath by a private rugby franchise are moving forward rapidly” and “it is a desperate shame that the space will be only available to a rugby club which looks more like a private company to me.”
Such disinformation does no-one any credit, and should not go unanswered. With a core support some twenty times larger than the football club’s I can understand a degree of jealousy from some quarters in the city, but that does not justify stating negative propaganda as fact.
Twelve thousand of us watch rugby on the Rec every other weekend, and a good number travel much further than Essex to support our team.
One-eyed we may be – in accord with most supporters – but green eyes we do not have!