Premiership: Gloucester 20-43 Bath
|Gloucester (13) 20|
|Tries: Slater, Woodward Cons: Twelvetrees 2 Pens: Twelvetrees 2|
|Bath (26) 43|
|Tries: Dunn, Priestland, Brew, Homer, Vuna, Wilson Cons: Priestland 4, Burns Pens: Priestland|
Bath kept their faint top-six hopes alive with a bonus-point win that all-but ended rivals Gloucester's bid for a place in the play-off semi-finals.
Tries for Tom Dunn, Rhys Priestland, Aled Brew and a spectacular score from Tom Homer sealed the bonus point after 32 minutes, with an Ed Slater try and Billy Twelvetrees penalty in reply.
The home side reacted after the break as Jason Woodward went over.
But Cooper Vuna crossed before James Wilson's try put the gloss on the win.
Gloucester must win at second-placed Saracens with a bonus point in their final match on 5 May and hope that Wasps fail to take a point from either of their remaining two games if they are to claim fourth place and earn a play-off semi-final at Exeter.
Gloucester's loss also guaranteed that Newcastle will make the post-season shake-up for the first time in their history.
Despite knowing they realistically had to win, Gloucester were stunned by an impressive Bath attack, whose performance was epitomised by Homer's sensational score as he carved through the home defence at pace.
Woodward's try gave the Cherry and Whites hope early in the second half against their West Country rivals, but that optimism only lasted a minute.
Vuna went over in the corner after Bath's forwards had sucked in all the defenders under the posts, and Wilson jogged over for their sixth try late on after he intercepted a pass as an increasingly desperate Gloucester threw caution to the wind in an attempt to get something from the game.
Bath could still qualify for next season's European Champions Cup if they beat already-relegated London Irish with a bonus point on the final day, but only if Gloucester lose without taking a point at Sarries and seventh-placed Sale Sharks don't beat Leicester.
Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
"I'm highly disappointed because the reality is we had a great week of preparation, the guys were really training well.
"But we always knew that Bath were dangerous as they had nothing to lose and we gave them the perfect start.
"We were just not good enough today, we were off the mark, a step behind in that first half and everything we did went wrong.
"It's a big lesson for us and a big body blow if you look as the season as a whole."
Bath attack coach Toby Booth told BBC Radio Bristol:
"It's brilliant for the fans because we know that this is the most important fixture of the year and we were disappointed to lose at home in the corresponding fixture.
"But it wasn't just the victory, it was the way we played, I thought we were outstanding today and the lads can take a lot of credit.
"They were very tough it showed what we can do now we're getting a few players back."
Gloucester: Woodward; Marshall, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Trinder; Burns, Braley; Hohneck, Hanson, Afoa; Slater (c), Galarza, Polledri, Ludlow, Morgan.
Replacements: Matu'u, McAllister, Balmain, Savage, Ackermann, Vellacott, Symons, Halaifonua.
Bath: Homer; Banahan. Clark, Wilson, Brew; Priestland, Fotuali'i, Obano, Dunn, Perenise, Ewels (c), Stooke, Ellis, Louw, Faletau.
Replacements: Walker, Noguera, Knight, Phillips, Mercer, Green, Burns, Vuna.