The Reds claimed a noteworthy scalp in their first-ever competitive encounter against top-flight opposition, scoring five second-half tries to finish well clear of a young Bath squad.
A crowd of more than 7,000 saw the home side take the lead mid-way through the first half of the Premiership Rugby Cup tie as full-back Sam Harris profited from an attack sparked by fly-half George Worboys that was followed by a kick ahead from Will Muir.
The visitors had been a little shocked to go behind after a competitive first quarter, but hit back almost instantly as lock James Scott went over after a driving maul.
The Gallagher Premiership side regained their lead during the closing stages of the half after Jersey’s Max Argyle saw yellow for a dangerous clear-out and wings Gabe Goss and Muir combined for the latter to claim his team’s second try.
Half-time saw encouragement from the Reds’ coaching team that their side was ‘right in this’ and it didn’t take long for the bottom part of the scoreboard to start ticking upwards. Replacements James Mitchell and Adam Nicol combined to give Alex McHenry the equalising try and then fellow centre Jordan Holgate scored from a charge-down.
It was a lead the visitors would never relinquish, in fact they never allowed their opponents another sniff, helped by the absence of Bath replacement Louie Hennessey for a breakdown offence near his own line. James Hadfield crossed for two tries from driving mauls and in between these forward efforts there was a sublime score for Russell Bennett after great approach work from 65 metres out involving virtually the entire back line across the width of the pitch. Ben Woollett was the key player with a kick ahead which he then gathered before slipping the ball deftly inside to Bennett, who finished with ease.
The result left the Reds with a maximum 10 points from their inaugural Prem Cup campaign and eagerly awaiting the 2023/24 home opener at Stade Santander International, with another tier-one opponent in their sights. Exeter Chiefs are the visitors for a game that will kick off at 2pm.
Bath (15-9, 1-8): Sam Harris; Gabe Goss, Max Wright, Will Butt, Will Muir (Louie Hennessey 58, YC 63); George Worboys (Ciaran Donoghue 58), Tom Carr-Smith (Murdoch Lock 68); Arthur Cordwell (Scott Kirk 59), Jasper Spandler (John Stewart 59), Kieran Verden (Mikey Summerfield 58), Fergus Lee-Warner, Ewan Richards (Thompson Cowan 58), JJ Tonks, Ethan Staddon, Jacob Coetzee (Nahum Merigan 31).
Jersey Reds: Brendan Owen; Ben Woollett, Alex McHenry, Jordan Holgate, Robin Wedlake; Russell Bennett (Josh Barton 75), James Elliott (James Mitchell 47); Sam Grahamslaw (Greg McGrath 63), Daf Hughes (James Hadfield 60), Stevie Longwell (Adam Nicol 41), John Hawkins, James Scott (Hallam Chapman 68), Max Argyle (YC 30, Thom Smith 68), Lewis Wynne (c), Alun Lawrence (Tim Grey 68)
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe. Assistants: Alex Thomas, Simon Park
Tries: Harris 21, Muir 36
Tries: Scott 26, McHenry 50, Holgate 54, Hadfield 63, 72, Bennett 67
Conversions: Bennett 50, 54
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