Aviva Premiership: Northampton beat Bath with late Jamie Elliott try
Last Updated: 23/02/13 6:10pm
Northampton maintained their play-off hopes in the Aviva Premiership after a late try and a nerve-jangling ending helped them to a tense 25-23 victory over Bath.
Saints ensured they kept pace with the pack of teams all chasing a play-off spot with a hard-fought win at Franklins' Gardens, which was engineered by Stephen Myler and Jamie Elliott.
Winger Elliott scored both tries for Northampton, including what turned out to be the winning score eight minutes from the end, while fly-half Myler kicked five penalties despite missing both conversions.
Northampton's first try came from Bath losing ball from their own lineout in their 22. Rob Webber's errant throw was scooped up by flanker Ben Nutley and when Northampton went wide Myler threw a big miss-pass to Elliott.
It bounced and looked to have killed the winger's chances but the academy product gathered and powered through Nick Abendanon to score.
Northampton looked to have the game in the bag when leading 20-9 with an hour gone, but then Bath sprung into life with two tries in six minutes helping them into the lead, albeit with the help of the referee.
Young official Luke Pearce sparked the game into life by awarding a controversial penalty try. The scrum collapsed with Bath motoring forward but it was seven metres from the line and it was the first time they had been penalised for the offence.
Fly-half Tom Heathcote led the scoring for the visitors, kicking three penalties and converting both the penalty try and the second effort from Semesa Rokoduguni which put them in front.
Just five minutes after the controversial penalty try, Rokoduguni intercepted a pass on his own 10m line and raced under the posts for Heathcote to convert.
A shell-shocked Saints managed to recover from the whirlwind attack though and the late try from Elliott proved to be enough to get them home.
A good chase and tackle from wing James Wilson saw Carl Fearns turned over on his 10m line and Saints powered forward to eventually find the overlap for Foden to send Elliott over.
Myler's attempted conversion did hit the post, just to add to the tension, but Northampton managed to hang on for a welcome victory.