ASM Clermont Auvergne won their first European Rugby Challenge Cup under their current name exactly 13 years ago, having previously lifted the trophy as AS Montferrand in 1999.
ASM Clermont Auvergne 22 Bath Rugby 16
Some desperate defending in the latter stages enabled Clermont to extend Bath’s wait for a trophy to nine years in an eventually exciting final at Twickenham Stoop.
The French club trailed 6-3 at the interval after two penalties from centre Olly Barkley to one from fly-half Brock James, but they clinched victory with three second-half tries from wing Julien Malzieu, centre Tony Marsh and James, plus two conversions from James.
Toujours un acteur majeur du rugby européen, l’ASM a remporté un troisième sacre en #ChallengeCupRugby l’année dernière 🏆
— Challenge Cup France (@ChallengeCup_FR) May 11, 2020
First, Bath lost possession on halfway and Clermont unleashed a devastating counter-attacker which was finished off by Malzieu.
Then hooker Mario Ledesma danced down one wing and Marsh, the New Zealand-born France international, crossed on the other.
Finally, Malzieu turned creator by handing off a string of Bath defenders before releasing Ledesma, who passed to James and the Australian chipped ahead, gathered the ball and scored.
It looked all over, but Bath had other ideas, wing Joe Maddock conjuring a superb solo try that Barkley converted, before they were denied a second by the video referee, after Peter Short reached over the line following a drive from a line-out.
Barkley landed his third penalty to cut the gap to six points and it needed an outstanding tackle from Marsh to keep out Nick Abendanon, before Danny Grewcock knocked on in the dying seconds.