London Welsh 14

(tries Reynolds, Fonua; cons Roberts, Robinson)

Bath 29

(tries Webber, Houston 2, Burgess, Faosiliva; con Homer 2)

LONDON Welsh have been relegated from the Aviva Premiership with four games still to play, after a 29-14 defeat to Bath this afternoon.

After Newcastle Falcons' bonus point defeat at London Irish yesterday, only five points today could have prevented the Exiles from dropping out of the top tier of English rugby.

However, the Exiles were no match for a powerful Bath side, who scored three tries after the break to storm to victory.

The visitors started strongly and went into a 10-0 lead, with tries from Rob Webber and Leroy Houston.

Nic Reynolds replied, Tristan Roberts adding the extras, to reduce the deficit to three points at half-time.

However, Bath dominated after the break and secured the bonus point, with Sam Burgess, Houston and Alafoti Faosiliva going over.

Opeti Fonua replied for Welsh, but it was no more than a consolation.

Many expected relegation to be purely a formality, but the Exiles showed good fight and defended astutely for the most part against a hungry-looking Bath side.

Welsh survived phase after phase of early pressure, before Bath made their territory count on 15 minutes.

A catch and drive on five-metres saw hooker Webber go over. Tom Homer could not convert in the blustery conditions from out wide.

The Exiles pushed Bath back immediately from the kick-off and after stealing a line-out on the visitors' five-metre line, looked to respond straight away.

However, as Fonua looked certain to dive over the whitewash, Bath stole possession and cleared their lines.

Welsh were punished for not taking their chance as Bath drove forward and from a line-out, Houston escaped unnoticed to touch down.

The wind once again caused havoc with Homer's attempted conversion as the ball held up and sailed wide of the posts.

Despite trailing 10-0 after 23 minutes, the Exiles pushed forward, looking as if they had a point to prove.

After pushing Bath back to their five-metre line, Fonua was foiled twice, before Reynolds forced his way over. Roberts converted.

Bath immediately came back at Welsh, who had Nathan Trevett sent to the sin-bin for collapsing the maul on 34 minutes.

The visitors looked to take immediate advantage with Olly Woodburn breaking through a couple of tackles, but Welsh escaped with Seb Jewell clearing.

With the wind already causing problems from the boot, heavy rain in the last five minutes of the half and good defence from Welsh, saw no further score before the break.

Bath begun the second half sluggishly, giving possession away cheaply, but fly-half Olly Devoto's kick found touch on Welsh's five-metre line.

The visitors stole the line-out and worked the ball to Burgess, who dived over on 48 minutes. Homer added the extras.

Bath went in search of a fourth try bonus point and were dominating territorially, pinning Welsh back in their own 22.

They got their reward with two tries in successive minutes as Houston scored his second and Faosiliva ghosted through. Homer only converting one of the tries.

However, Welsh did not let their heads drop and, with five minutes remaining, drove to the line, with Fonua picking up to drive over.

Replacement fly-half Will Robinson added the extras.

Dean Schofield was yellow carded in the closing stages and the Exiles' relegation was confirmed at the final whistle.

London Welsh: Jewell, Stegmann, Reynolds, May, Awcock (J Lewis 69), Roberts (Robinson 71), R Lewis (Rowley 71), Trevett (Aholelei 67), Britton (Morris 55, Gilding 67), Cooper, Schofield, Down (West 60), McCaffrey (Thorpe 34), Kirwan (Thorpe 47), Fonua (Aholelei 38).

Bath: Homer, Rokoduguni (Banahan 47), Burgess, Eastmond (Agulla 67), Woodburn, Devoto, Young (Cook 67), Auterac (Obano 67), Webber (Batty 64), Palma-Newport (Lahiff 67), Hooper, Day (Garvey 47), Fearns, Faosiliva, Houston (Sisi 67).

Referee: T Foley

Attendance: 3,354