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Northampton wins English Premiership with late try in final against 14-man Bath

LONDON (AP) — Northampton won the English Premiership after a late try by Alex Mitchell secured a 25-21 victory that ended Bath’s defiant response to Beno Obano’s red card in the final at Twickenham on Saturday.

Obano was sent off with almost an hour left for a high tackle on Juarno Augustus. Bath sacrificed No. 8 Alfie Barbeary to bring on replacement prop Juan Schoeman, stripping them of a second key ball-carrier and in theory the ability to play anything more ambitious than a spoiling game, yet they rallied courageously.

After Northampton tries by Tommy Freeman and Ollie Sleightholme, both assisted by George Furbank, Bath hit back through touchdowns from Thomas du Toit and Will Muir and the boot of Finn Russell to lead 21-18 with 13 minutes left.

But scrumhalf Mitchell was in support of tackle-busting replacement wing George Hendy, who set up the decisive score, and clinched Northampton’s second Premiership crown, 10 years after its first.

Hendy was named man of the match and Northampton gave a triumphant farewell to captain Courtney Lawes, Alex Waller, Lewis Ludlam and Alex Moon.

“I couldn’t believe we had actually won it because we tried so hard to lose,” Lawes said. “At the end of the game I was actually pretty pissed off. Slowly it has kind of settled in. We did what we needed to. We got across the finish line.

“I’m just really happy to have been able to deliver what the club deserves, really.”

Bath, trying to win its first Premiership since 1996, was also full of worthy performances including halfbacks Ben Spencer and Russell, and Sam Underhill’s remarkable defensive effort.

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