EXETER Chiefs are within 80 minutes of a first major trophy in their 143 year history following their 22-19 victory at Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup yesterday.

They now meet Northampton Saints on home ground in the final at Sandy Park.

Exeter had not beaten Bath since 1978 and got off to a dreadful start when Australian Leroy Houston crossed for the game's opening try after just 29 seconds.

Tom Heathcote converted and added two more penalties as the home side led 13-8 at half time.

Exeter's replies came via a Henry Slade penalty and a try from Luke Arscott while Bath's Gavin Henson was sin-binned for handling the ball at a ruck in his own 22.

Heathcote made it 16-8 with another kick but then presented Arscott with Chief's second try when the full-back got hold of his hopeful chip and raced through a gap in the home defence.

Slade kicked the extras to move the visitors within a point.

Exeter were soon in front for the first time when Vainikolo took a pass from Arscott and despite attempted tackles from four Bath defenders ran 55 metres for a tremendous score.

After Slade kicked his second conversion of the day, Heathcote reduce Exeter's lead to three points but the visitors held out well.