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Bath knocked out of European Champions Cup

George Ford scores Bath's first try against Leinster. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Bath have been knocked out of the European Champions Cup by Leinster.

The Irish side had the boot of Ian Madigan to thank as they narrowly edged past Mike Ford's men. In front of a sell-out crowd at the Aviva Stadium, the No 12 kicked six penalties to send his team through to the semi-final.

Bath were ahead for a short time when returning England star George Ford superbly burst through the home defence.

But a combination of ill-discipline and knock-ons saw Madigan kick Leinster into a 15-5 half-time lead.

Bath made a positive start to the second half and were soon right back in the game. That man Ford once again found a gap, and when he was tackled short of the line, the off-load saw Stuart Hooper crash over. Ford added the extras to reduce the deficit to 3 points.

A penalty each set up a grandstand finish. Alafoti Faosiliva was pipped to the ball after a charge-down, then right at the death, the hosts were awarded a controversial penalty to end Bath's dreams for another season.

Make no mistake, we don't want any sympathy vote here. We should have won that game today.

There is a lot of disappointment. The first-half performance, especially, we are a lot better than that. It is probably where we lost the game.

We couldn't really control the ball and we gave away some penalties.

We made quite a few line-breaks, but there is more than one way to win a game. It is not just about scoring tries. They kicked their penalties and fair play to them.

But we are so disappointed because we are a lot better than what we showed today. That last 10-15 minutes, I was pretty convinced we were going to win the game, but it's small margins.

I thought Anthony Watson was on fire at full-back and George made two good breaks for our tries. It was in our control, we thought. Even at 15-5 down, we were confident we could win the game.

– Mike Ford, Head Coach, Bath

Irish teams are very good at squeezing teams and milking penalties and building a score that way.

We should have handled that better than we did.

We wanted to play with a good tempo so we could make line-breaks and be a threat in attack. Ultimately, we need to start getting better at taking these chances.

It was a three-point ball game at the end of the day, so we need to be a bit harsh on ourselves.

– George Ford, Bath

I was pretty comfortable before that last 10-15 minutes, but they came back at us very strongly and we were fortunate to hold on.

You are always relieved when you win a knockout game. It was always going to be tough and hard fought.

We played in the right areas, we took our points when they were on offer and our scrum was outstanding.

We were a little bit inaccurate in the second half. We fell off a couple of tackles, but up until that point I thought we did all the things we spoke about beforehand.

You would like to be 20 points up with 15 minutes to go, but that's not the reality of the game at this level.

They had nothing to lose, and they were going to make us work for every point.

– Matt O'Connor, Head Coach, Leinster

Live World War Two bomb found in Bath garden

The live Second World War bomb was found by a member of the public. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A live Second World War German bomb has been found in a garden in Rush Hill, Bath.

Police set up a 100-metre cordon around the area and advised local residents to stay inside.

Bomb squad experts from Tidworth were called in. They took the one-pound incendiary device to a nearby field and disposed of it safely in a controlled explosion.


Prestigious Dress of the Year announced

Bath's Fashion Museum has announced the prestigious Dress of the Year award - a plastic coat and wrap ensemble.

Gareth Pugh has been awarded the Dress of the Year award Credit: Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum

The annual fashion award, which has been run every year since 1963, was given it to Gareth Pugh, one of the most celebrated British fashion designers.

His winning design - called Look 41 - was chosen by Editor-in-Chief of LOVE magazine, Katie Grand.

The dress is a super-sized structural ensemble made of plastic sheeting. It is tied with a kimono-style belt and completed with a pair of twisted cream calico trousers that morph into boots, and an elastic hair net.

It's an honour that Katie Grand has selected one of my outfits to represent the Dress of the Year 2014. I'm particularly delighted that the look that she has chosen - the finale from my Autumn/Winter 2014 show - is emblematic of what was an incredibly important season to me personally.

This look was created in a moment where I had decided to hit the reset button and re-examine what it was that inspired me when I was starting out, so the entire process was about stripping everything back to the bare necessities and simply celebrating the idea that you can create something from nothing. With this is mind, it's wonderful to see it being displayed at the Fashion Museum in Bath, included in a collection of such cultural significance.

– Gareth Pugh
Gareth Pugh was awarded the prestigious prize Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

I'm delighted to have been asked to select the Dress of the Year and to me Gareth's plastic dress sums up 2014. I like the idea of how fancy and complex the dress is in structure, yet made of something so disposable. I had a super time photographing this with David Sims for Love 12; it was so easy as it gives a couture silhouette yet is 'punk', it's Edwardian, forties, seventies and two thousands all at the same time. It is familiar in its historical references yet utterly new in its execution.

– Katie Grand

The Dress of the Year is now on display at the Fashion Museum and will remain on display throughout 2015.

The Fashion Museum is open from 10.30am to 5pm.

Westonbirt says goodbye to Victorian tree

A giant redwood tree - which was over 100 years old - has been cut down at Westonbirt Arboretum.

It was rotting on the inside so staff at the woodland had to make the difficult decision to chop down the Victorian age tree.

The time has sadly come to fell a magnificent giant redwood that has graced Main Drive since the Holford family started their arboretum in the mid-nineteenth century, as its health has been in decline for many years.

As trees reach the end of their lives they tend to go into decline and as managers we try to care for specimens through this process, for example by gradual crown reduction.

However, we can only delay, rather than prevent, the inevitable. Sooner or later we have to say goodbye.

– Mark Ballard, Curator, Westonbirt Arboretum

Footage from the Forestry Commission.

  1. National

Lib Dems taking Strasburger allegations 'seriously'

The Lib Dems will comply with any Electoral Commission recommendations Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrats have said the party is taking the allegations of illegal donations against Lord Strasburger seriously after "important questions" were raised by Channel 4.

A Lib Dem spokesman said: "It is common practice for senior party figures from all parties to meet with potential and current donors.

"Dispatches has raised important questions about one particular donation, which the party is taking seriously. The Party had no reason to believe that the donation was made by anyone other than the person who signed the cheque.

"When we were alerted to the claim that this donation may, without our knowledge, have been made on someone else's behalf, we referred this matter to the Electoral Commission, and requested their advice on whether the donation should be handed to the Commission or returned to the donor. We shall comply fully with their investigation and any recommendations they may make as a result

"The party has also introduced an additional level of scrutiny to donations to the federal party, over and above legal requirements. This will apply with immediate effect."

  1. National

Lib Dem peer Lord Strasburger denies any wrongdoing

Peers at the House of Lords Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrat peer at the centre of a donor row uncovered by channel 4, insists he has done nothing wrong.

Lord Strasburger, who accused the programme makers of "cynical and contrived entrapment-style journalism" said he had resigned the whip "for the sake of the party".

"I am a retired businessman, I am not a career politician," the peer said. "In a purely voluntary capacity, I have been helping the party with fundraising. I have gained no personal benefit in doing so.

"Whatever Channel 4 may say in their Dispatches programme, I do not think I have committed any offence. Having said that, I believe that we should all be accountable for what we do, so I have invited the Electoral Commission to carry out an investigation into my actions.

"In the meantime, whilst I maintain that I have committed no offence, I have stopped fund-raising for the party."


  1. National

Liberal Democrat peer resigns amid donor allegations

A file photo of the House of Lords. Credit: PA

A Liberal Democrat peer has resigned from his party's group in the House of Lords amid allegations expected to be made in a Channel 4 investigation.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Dispatches will allege "a £10,000 donation was paid by the stepfather of an undercover businessman which would be against the rules on donations."

Lord Strasburger of Langridge denied doing anything wrong.

The allegations are expected to be broadcast in the Channel 4 programme next week.

River deaths prompt Bath students to begin a safety campaign

Students in Bath are leading a campaign to help young people get home safely after a night out in the city.

It follows the deaths of five students in six years - all from drowning in the River Avon. The students, from the City of Bath College, have started the campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of the river.

The campaign follows the deaths of five students in six years Credit: ITV News

Their project to improve safety has been given ten thousand pounds and will see teenagers working with the council and emergency services.

The students want to raise £20,000 over two years to promote the campaign. They have already raised more than £14,000 thanks to a £10,000 grant from Bath and North East Somerset Council, and £1,000 from the Somerset Crimebeat Trust.

In June, the students will take their message into schools across the county, and in September all new students at both Bath universities will receive information about the campaign.

Young people are being encouraged to share the message on Facebook, Twitter and other social media using the hashtag #GotYaBack.

Young people are being encouraged to share the message on social media using the hashtag #GotYaBack Credit: Got Ya Back
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