Ford wants happy ending

Bath coach Mike Ford is targeting Amlin Challenge Cup glory over Northampton to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the Premiership play-offs (Bath 6/4, Northampton 1/2 – Match Prices).

The two clubs will square off in the final of Europe’s second-tier competition at Cardiff Arms Park on May 23, with Bath having taken care of Wasps in their semi-final and Saints downing Harlequins to reach the showpiece event.

Northampton will have another chance to earn some silverware, however, as they finished second in the Premiership table and will face Leicester in the last four, while Quins face the daunting prospect of a match-up with Saracens after pipping Bath to fourth spot in the table (Saracens 11/10 favourites – Grand Final Winner).

The West Country club had been in the top four for 21 rounds of the 22-game season but Saturday’s 19-16 loss to the Londoners at the Stoop means they will play no part in the post-season proceedings.

And, having watched his men come so close to the play-offs, Ford is now desperate to atone for the frustration with victory over what he feels will be a competitive Saints side in the Welsh capital.

“For our season to make sense for us we have to win it,” he said. “The only blessing is the two weeks’ preparation for the Northampton game.

“We’ll regroup for two weeks, the boys will be fresh, because Northampton aren’t going to give us anything in the final.”

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