European Rugby: Ulster squeeze out win in opener at Bath

Ulster's John Cooney who scored a vital penalty to secure the win over Bath
Ulster's John Cooney who scored a vital penalty to secure the win over Bath
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BATH 16 ULSTER 17

Ulster squeezed out a vital 17-16 victory at Bath in their opening match in Pool Three of the European Champions Cup.

Tries in each half by John Cooney and Rob Lyttle helped the PRO14 side make it five straight wins against Bath in European competition.

Scrum-half Cooney converted both and kicked a 70th-minute penalty to seal the win.

The Premiership side kept in touch with two penalties from Freddie Burns before replacement wing Gabriel Hamer-Webb scored their only try, converted by Burns.

Rhys Priestland's 66th-minute penalty put them ahead for the first time in the match but Cooney - who had missed a penalty in front of the posts at the end of the first half - had the final say.

Gabriel Hamer-Webb goes over for a try for Bath in the defeat to Ulster

Gabriel Hamer-Webb goes over for a try for Bath in the defeat to Ulster

However, Ulster had to endure a nervy final two minutes having thought they had won the game. A lineout was deemed to be crooked and Bath had one last throw at the dice with the clock in the red.

Bath threw the kitchen sink into one final assault, and it looked as Zach Mercer would put Semesa Rokoduguni in for a try, but Jacob Stockdale made a timely intercept to deny what would have been a certain match winning score.