Leicester Tigers beat Bath Rugby 24-20 at The Recreation Ground in Round 17 of the Gallagher Premiership season on Saturday.
After defeat on their last nine visits to The Rec in Premiership rugby since a 37-6 victory in March 2011, Tigers had to be patient before Freddie Burns scored a decisive try in the second half.
But Bath then enjoyed a run of 15 unanswered points as Max Ojomoh and Josh Bayliss ran in two more tries on the way to a 20-14 lead at half-time.
Top-of-the-table Tigers, though, following a 40-23 win at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in Round 8, stayed in the game and responded with a converted score from Burns and then a Bryce Hegarty penalty before the forwards pinned Bath back in the closing minutes.
George Ford was among the tryscorers in the earlier win and the fly-half was among five players absent on England duty this time, though Joe Heyes resumed in the front row after being part of national squad in Italy last week. There were also places in the starting line-up for Francois van Wyk, Eli Snyman and George Martin, with Hanro Liebenberg named among the replacements.
Ewan Richards was a late drop-out from the Bath team due to illness, with former Leicester player Richard de Carpentier brought in from the bench to play in the second row.
Following the chaos of successive storms in the second half of the week, the sun briefly shone as Bath kicked off, though a blustery and unpredictable wind made it difficult in all areas of the pitch.
The opening score from Wiese came from good composure by Tigers with just six minutes gone, using lineout ball on the left to set up an enterprising attack along the backline. Freddie Burns found Bryce Hegarty, then Harry Potter continued to make territory even after being tackled and Nemani Nadolo almost reached the line. But Tigers kept ball and Wiese bundled over.
After a conversion from Burns, Bath came up with an immediate response as Ben Spencer chipped ball into the left-hand corner and Muir read the play to dot down. Orlando Bailey was unable to add the extras as the wind caught his conversion attempt and it fell short.
A second Tigers try came just three minutes later as Dan Kelly put Guy Porter through a gap in midfield and, drawing in the last defender, he put Wigglesworth in to score under the posts. Burns added a conversion to make it 14-5.
Bath lost scorer Muir to a yellow card as he challenged Potter for high ball on halfway, but Tigers were unable to add any further points against the 14 men as Tom de Glanville closed down one attack near the touchline.
A penalty award near halfway finally allowed Bath to build some phases of possession and they used the impetus to add a penalty from Bailey and then, as Muir returned from the sin bin, Bailey chipped the ball towards the posts and Ojomoh ran in to score.
Josh Bayliss, sent on when Nathan Hughes made way for an HIA, marked his first touch of the ball with a try, charging through one tackle on the left touchline to score. Bailey’s kick came back off the post with the hosts 20-14 in front and only half an hour played.
Tigers had barely had any play between the two scores, but a scrum penalty and lineout drive looked promising as they built pressure on the Bath defence until they were penalised just in front of the posts.
The final chance of the half came from the Kelly-Porter combination again, with Porter charging on to a short pass and almost reaching the corner before being met by two defenders as Bath scrambled ball clear to reach the break in front.
Bath had Hughes back in their pack for the start of the second half, catching the kick-off from Burns and then picking up from a scrum which brought a penalty so they could advance on the right. But good work in defence, with Julian Montoya and Heyes leading the way, overturned possession.
Tigers swarmed over a mix-up in the Bath defence just 10 metres out from their posts, but after a handful of phases, the hosts’ jackal on to ball gained a turnover and scrum put-in.
The visiting pack, though, got a big push on, winning a free-kick and then a penalty as Bath backpedalled. With referee Karl Dickson waving his arm again, van Poortvliet played ball out and Burns made use of space on the right to score.
Burns kept his kick low and true through the posts for a 21-20 lead and was immediately back in the action to stop Muir’s break on the left touchline.
The fly-half left the field for an HIA check, with Chris Asthon temporarily joining the backline and Hegarty moving to first receiver.
Tigers has some momentum in possession, with Wiese almost pushing through the defence before a penalty awards in front of the posts and Hegarty stretched the lead to four points.
Tommy Reffell had to dot down behind his own line as Muir chipped ahead on the left wing. Hughes picked up from the scrum and, although tackled short, the penalty went in Bath’s favour.
Twice Tigers stood up to the lineout drive, eventually wrapping up play as their rivals got to the tryline and then gaining a penalty from a scrum in a decisive phase of defensive play.
The set-piece worked well at the other end of the field, with a lineout drive making quick progress up to the five-metre line. A penalty followed, with the pack stopped just short in the left corner as Bath were awarded scrum put-in.
Wiese met their back row as they attempted to play out from deep and Burns then took play back into the corner with the clock up to 78 minutes.
A knock-on on the edge of the Bath 22 provided one last chance of possession for the home team but, after they spilled ball under pressure, Matt Scott hacked clear.
Time was up as the resulting scrum set and Tigers kept chasing until forcing one final error to seal the win.