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Bath leave it late

Nick Abendanon scored an injury-time try as Bath beat Aviva Premiership rivals London Irish 20-13 after an exhausting contest littered with injuries at the Recreation Ground.

Bath saw four of their star-studded squad - internationals Matt Banahan, Lee Mears, David Flatman and Simon Taylor - make premature exits along with Irish's England flanker Stefon Armitage.

And there was an early demise for Irish's Samoan number eight George Stowers, who was sent-off for a high tackle on Bath full-back Abendanon.

Abendanon appeared to be briefly knocked out in the 65th-minute incident before Stowers - who collected a three-week ban for fighting with ex-Gloucester captain Gareth Delve last season - received his marching orders.

Bath centre Olly Barkley - a summer discard from England boss Martin Johnson's elite player squad - stayed standing to kick five penalties and give Bath their second successive Premiership win this term.

Barkley, seemingly intent on making a mockery of Johnson's decision in front of his fellow England coaches Brian Smith and John Wells, was also at the heart of Bath's more creative moments, although neither side could break each other down until the closing minutes.

Irish, against the odds, went ahead when their impressive young wing Jonathan Joseph crossed after 78 minutes, and fly-half Ryan Glam, who kicked two first-half penalties, slotted the conversion to threaten a famous Irish victory.

But Bath responded immediately when scrum-half Michael Classens kicked expertly into space and Abendanon finished with a flourish before Barkley slotted his fifth penalty with the game's final kick.

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