Glasgow Warriors defeat Bath in Heineken Cup

Heineken Cup

Glasgow Warriors 26 Bath 21

Richie Gray scored a sensational last minute try as Glasgow opened their Heineken Cup campaign with victory over Bath – then vowed to give his all in his final months as a Warrior.

A week after announcing he is to leave the club for Sale Sharks, Gray demonstrated his commitment to the Warriors’ cause with the score which sent Glasgow to the top of the table ahead of next week’s trip to Dublin to face Leinster.

The Scotland second row said: “Duncan (Weir) went for the drop goal, I saw there was a touch on it and it was the bounce of a rugby ball – right place at the right time.

“The main focus was to give everything in a Warriors shirt while I’m still here. That is the focus for me and that’s the way I’ll always be.”

Gray’s stoppage-time effort upstaged the debut of Bath’s World Cup-winning fly-half Stephen Donald.

Donald had kicked the visitors into a 21-19 lead after 79 minutes after replacing Tom Heathcote, who had a 100 per cent record from six penalties.

But Gray, who reached the ball ahead of team-mate Rob Harley after Weir’s drop-goal attempt was blocked, ensured Donald’s first appearance since lifting the Webb Ellis Cup after the All Blacks beat France in Auckland three weeks ago ended on a losing note.

Weir kicked the conversion to take his personal tally to 16, while full-back Stuart Hogg also scored a try for the hosts.

Warriors head coach Sean Lineen said: “I’m delighted for Richie, a great try.

“The drop goal was quite far away and it was a fortuitous bounce but I think Bath had been offside about four phases in a row and they got away with murder there.

“The guys never gave up. There was a real desire there.”

After seeing his side take a third successive English scalp at home – Bath following Gloucester and London Wasps to defeat – and a fifth successive win, Lineen is relishing the trip to Dublin.

He added: “We beat them in the (RaboDirect) Pro12 when both teams were without their World Cup players.

“We know how to win over there, but it’s going to be a slightly different atmosphere and reason for winning.”

Bath must now bounce back when they meet Montpellier at the Rec next weekend.

Backs and defence coach Brad Davis said: “We’re bitterly disappointed to lose it at the death.

“After applying a fair bit of pressure, 15, 20 minutes without coming away with a score, we got a tad frustrated and started to try and force things.

“There were a few unforced errors that crept into our game and we probably let Glasgow off the hook a little bit.

“But you don’t have too much time in this competition to feel sorry for yourselves. You’ve got to pick yourselves up and move on.

“We’re going to have to step it up.”

England international Matt Banahan was slated to start at centre, but withdrew after suffering a thigh problem during the warm-up.

Davis, who denied Bath had been in the running to sign Gray, added: “That hurt us a little bit in terms of our punch going forward in the midfield.”