Harlequins suffered their second Guinness Premiership defeat of the season, going down 25-10 against Bath at the Recreation Ground. Centre Shaun Berne scored 15 points for the home side, with his converted try settling the outcome 16 minutes from the end. Steve So'oialo scored his third league try of the season just before half-time, but it would prove to be the visitors only touchdown in the game.
After Bath had the better of the opening exchanges, Quins had the first opportunity of opening the scoring with ten minutes on the clock but Chris Malone saw a long range penalty fall short and wide of the target. The Quins fly half then missed an easier chance ten minutes later, so the score remained pointless at the end of the first quarter.
The home side then racked up a 15-point lead in a ten minute spell. With Chris Robshaw penalised for being offside, Berne converted the resulting kick at goal and then two minutes later lock forward Peter Short burst through an attempted tackle from Mike Ross before thundering over in the right hand corner. Berne converted from the touchline to open up a ten-point advantage after 28 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors four minutes before the interval. Quick ball from a lineout just short of the Quins twenty-two gave the Bath backs the platform they needed to allow winger Michael Stephenson to cut through the Quins midfield and race over unopposed to the left of the posts.
The visitors hit back two minutes later with their first points in the match. After being awarded a free kick deep in the Bath twenty-two, So'oialo caught the hosts defence on the back foot with a quick tap and had the strengh to hold off a number of defenders to reach out and claim the try. Malone added the two extra points to make the score 15-7 at the break.
Quins then cut the deficit further six minutes after the restart, as Malone converted a penalty after his opposite number Ryan Davis was penalised for holding onto the ball in the tackle. However, Berne cancelled this score out in similar fashion soon after this before some fine work from the Quins pack deep in the hosts twenty-two went unrewarded.
The visitors would then pay for failing to make the most of this period of pressure as Bath struck a crucial blow four minutes into the final quarter. After recycling possession through a number of phases, Berne took a perfect line to break the Quins defence and race to the line unopposed. The centre then added the two extra points from the conversion that would prove to be the final score in the match.
Quins pushed hard for a consolation try in the time that remained, but the Bath defence stood firm and the visitors finished well beaten.
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.