Ulster clinch historic win
Bath unable to plug hole after Grewcock red card
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 23/01/10 7:51pm
Ulster: Historic win
Veteran lock Danny Grewcock will be no doubt be keeping a low profile in Bath in the coming days after his sending off for stamping helped Ulster to their first ever win on English soil.
Bath sank to a 28-10 defeat at the Recreation Ground after they were reduced to 14 men in the 32nd minute of their Heineken Cup clash.
Grewcock, who at 37 really is old enough to know better, chose to execute his indiscretion just yards away from referee Jerome Garces, who wasted no time in showing the former England star the door.
From then on it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the West Country men and Ulster made their hosts pay, running in three second-half tries courtesy of Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave and Paddy Wallace.
Bath's only score came when Matt Banahan crossed in the 20th minute and they would have undoubtedly pushed their visitors closer were it not for Grewcock's untimely dismissal.
Ulster, on the other hand, missed out on a precious bonus point that would have put them in contention to top their group and reach the last eight.
But, with Stade Francais securing a losing bonus point at Edinburgh to win the pool by a single point, they will now have to make do with a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Niall O'Connor opened the scoring for Ulster in the fifth minute with a 34 metre penalty to put the visiting Irishmen into a 3-0 lead.
Bath were offered the opportunity to redress the balance almost immediately but fly-half Nicky Little saw his long range attempt bounce off the left upright.
But, when Bath were pinged for coming in from the side right under the sticks on the 19 minute mark, O'Connor made no mistake in making it 6-0.
The home reply came in an instant though, after quick ball out to the backs found centre Matt Carraro, who fed full-back Joe Maddock with a superb cut-out pass.
Maddock supplied Bannahan with a neat offload and there was no stopping the big winger as he steamed down the touchline to cross in the corner.
This time Little found the target, effortlessly nailing a tough touchline conversion to add the extras and nudge Bath into a 7-6 lead.
But disaster struck for the hosts when Grewcock's contribution to the day was brought to an early end when he used his boot to move Stephen Ferris' arm.
O'Connor then made it three from three with the resulting penalty to take his side into the break with a 9-7 lead.
Ulster's first try came just two minutes after the restart when Trimble produced a magnificent piece of attacking running to score a brilliant individual try from almost nowhere.
Collecting the ball deep inside his own territory, Trimble opened up a huge hole in the Bath line with an exquisite side-step to take out two defenders before stepping on the gas to sprint 65 metres and score in the left corner.
O'Connor missed the conversion leaving the scores at 14-7 but six minutes later ex-Bath man Danielli rubbed salt in the wounds of his former club when he set up Ulster's second in sensational style.
Danielli, in possession on the left touchline, chipped inside and raced through to collect before powering forward and offloading for Cave to finish, O'Connor converting to extend the visitors lead to 21-7.
Just five minutes later Bath clawed three back with a penalty from Little and they continued to look dangerous despite their numerical disadvantage.
But in the end Ulster's superior numbers told and with two-and-a-half minutes left on the clock centre Wallace jinked his way through from ten yards out to touch down under the posts.
O'Connor added the conversion again but time ran out before they could clinch a vital bonus-point try that would have seen them through to the next stage of the competition.