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Bath win sends Welsh down

London Welsh's relegation from the Aviva Premiership was finally confirmed as Bath won 29-14 at the Kassam Stadium to move up to third.

It was one of Welsh's better performances of the season but it was still their 18th straight defeat, making their relegation now a mathematical certainty.

In very difficult conditions, Bath managed five tries through Rob Webber, Leroy Houston (two), Sam Burgess and Alafoti Fa'osiliva with Tom Homer kicking two conversions.

Nic Reynolds and Opeti Fonua scored tries for Welsh, with Tristan Roberts and Will Robinson adding conversions.

It was Rowland Phillips' first match in charge of Welsh after the departure of Justin Burnell and he made six changes from their last league line-up, with captain Tom May and full back Seb Jewell returning to the back division.

Bath made four changes from their win over Sale. Micky Young was in at scrum-half with Kane Palma-Newport replacing the injured Henry Thomas at prop. Houston was selected at number eight with Fa'osiliva making his first league start of the season at openside.

Welsh made a hash of the kick-off to allow the visitors an early period of pressure in the home 22 but Bath could not break down the Welsh defence. Burgess was then penalised for not releasing to allow the hosts some relief.

Despite playing with a strong wind behind them, Welsh could not break out of their half and a driving line-out saw Webber score the opening try after 12 minutes.

The restart saw Welsh into their opponents' half for the first time. Lachlan McCaffrey and Fonua produced strong runs to trouble the Bath defence but the home side couldn't capitalise and before long, Bath were back on the attack.

A line-out on the Welsh 22 went astray and this allowed Houston to charge away for the second try, with Homer having little chance of kicking the touchline conversion into the teeth of the wind.

Back came Welsh to score their first try; they declined a simple kickable penalty and were rewarded when Reynolds forced his way over for Roberts to convert.

After 34 minutes, Welsh prop Nathan Trevett was sin-binned for a line-out offence but as the conditions deteriorated further, Bath could not take any advantage before half-time, at which point they led 10-7.

After the restart, Trevett returned with no damage done to the scoreboard as Bath struggled to get any fluency into their game.

Welsh suffered a blow when they lost flanker Carl Kirwan with an arm injury, with Richard Thorpe coming on as his replacement.

After 47 minutes, Bath scored their third try when Burgess crossed for Homer to convert and this score enabled the visitors to dominate the remainder of the game.

After a period of intense pressure, Houston burst over from a set scrum for the bonus-point try but Homer couldn't add the conversion.

Moments later, replacement Matt Garvey burst away to send Fa'osiliva in for the fifth, with Homer's conversion sealing victory before Welsh had the final say.

Their best player, Fonua, battled over from close range for their second try which Robinson converted to give Welsh a deserved reward.

There was a late yellow card for Schofield but Bath were unable to add to their tally in the limited time remaining.

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