Bath Rugby booked their place in the quarter-finals of the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP after over-turning a two-points deficit with a comfortable victory over Bridgend at The Recreation Ground.
The two sides exchanged penalties early on with Olly Barkley's effort for Bath being cancelled out by Craig Warlow for Bridgend.
Nathan Budgett was sent to the sin bin shortly afterwards for a deliberate knock on and the Welsh side's problems intensified when Craig Warlow went off injured. Youngster Anthony Carter came on at full back and Matt James moved to outside half.
Bath took full advantage of their opponents' problems with Gareth Cooper putting full back Iain Balshaw clear down the right to score. Barker kicked the conversion and followed it with a penalty to give his team a 13-3 lead.
Bridgend were forced into more changes when centre Siua Taumalolo was forced off with an injury and John Funnell came on in his place. Balshaw scored his second try on 28 minutes after Bath moved the ball wide to him following a turnover. The conversion was missed by Barkley.
Things started to turn in Bridgend's favour when Bath openside Adam Vander was sin-binned and Gareth Thomas went over for Bridgend. Carter converted to bring the Ravens back within eight points and back in with a chance. However, Bath had other ideas and outside half Barkley kicked a penalty on the stroke of half time to give them a 21-10 lead at the interval.
Bridgend tighthead prop Chris Horsman was injured as a scrum collapsed and Phil Booth replaced him. Bath went further clear when centre Alex Crockett burst through to score and Barkley was successful with the conversion.
Phil Booth was sent to the sin bin after 69 minutes and due to Horsman's injury there was no prop on the bench to take his place. The Ravens were forced to send on replacement hooker Ben Phillips and the match went to uncontested scrums. From the penalty awarded against Booth, Barkley extended the Zurich Premiership side's lead.
Kevin Maggs scored the final try of the game for Bath after Tom Voyce passed it out to the Irish international centre who crashed over. Barkley converted to send Bath through to play against Montauban in the quarter-final.
Bath Rugby 38 Bridgend 10
HT: 21-10 Attendance: 7,063
Bath Rugby: Tries - I Balshaw 2, A Crockett, K Maggs; Cons - O Barkley 3; Pens - O Barkley 4
Bridgend: Try - G Thomas; Con - A Carter; Pen - C Warlow
Bath Rugby qualify for quarter-finals with + 26 points difference