Cup run goes on for Blues
Current Guinness Premiership leaders beaten on their travels
Last Updated: 01/11/08 1:46am
Molitika: Scored the opening try for the hosts
The Cardiff Blues edged out Bath 24-18 at the Arms Park to book their place in the semi-finals of the EDF Energy Cup.
A try in each half from Maama Molitika and Taufa'ao Filise helped the hosts clinch top spot in Pool B and extend their winning run to six matches.
They are also yet to taste defeat in front of their own fans this season, though they were forced to work hard to keep their perfect record.
Despite being without several stars through international commitments and injury Bath battled bravely throughout and will make the short journey home wondering just how they only managed two tries.
Both came in the second 40 minutes, the first being a penalty try before winger Andrew Higgins went over to set up a tense finish.
That the Guinness Premiership leaders did not break through the Blues' line until after an hour was down to some determined defending and poor handling.
Having opened the scoring with an early Jack Cuthbert penalty, Bath quickly found themselves 13-3 down midway through the opening half.
Centre Jamie Robinson blitzed through some paper-thin tackling to set up Molitika for the Blues' opening try underneath the posts.
Ben Blair knocked over the easy conversion and then added a pair of penalties to push the Blues into a double-digit lead.
That advantage remained until half time thanks only to Bath's inability to turn possession and territorial advantage into points.
With Shontayne Hape shining in the centres, Steve Meehan's side emphatically dominated only to shoot themselves in the foot when close to the line.
Eventually they added to their tally with a Joe Maddock penalty in the 53rd minute after Tom Shanklin had been sin-binned.
Blair pushed the difference back up to 10 with his third penalty though before Bath finally scored, referee Nigel Owens deciding to help them out when a high shot by Jason Spice stopped Maddock going over.
But, just as Bath thought their luck might be changing, they conceded at the other end, Filise bundling his way over following a five-metre scrum.
Higgins' smart finish with six minutes remaining meant the Blues couldn't relax until sub Stuart Hooper's yellow card in the dying seconds allowed Blair to boot three more points and seal the win with the last kick of the contest.