Monday, 3 March 2008
A very disappointing day at Ashton Gate. Bristol were exceedingly poor, Bath better (but not by much) and a cold and increasingly dark day did little to lift the spirits. This picture captures the atmosphere as well as it does my mood.
Bristol's rationale for shifting this fixture from the Memorial Ground to Ashton Gate has been that its significance as the biggest West Country match of the year befits the biggest stadium in this part of the world. In addition, you also get the crowd and increased gate receipts that go with it.
Fair enough if the event lives up to this billing, but this one very definitely did not. Not every Bristol versus Bath derby is of the same magnitude as that in 2003, and Richard Hill was right to acknowledge that Bris risk ceding home advantage by moving across the city. Especially so if it is always the same opponents you get here. Sure, there were 16,000 there, but did extra revenue justify the game at the Gate?
I'm not sure it did.