Harlequins chief Paul Gustard struck a relieved note as he celebrated his side’s dramatic 31-29 win at Bath Rugby.

Nathan Earle scored a last-ditch try to ensure the full five points went to the visitors, who consolidate their third-place position in the Gallagher Premiership.

A thriller at the Rec saw Quins’ 14-0 lead – courtesy of Chris Robshaw and Joe Marchant tries – quickly reversed by the hosts, before Alex Dombrandt crossed and Marchant added his second.

And Gustard’s side had to wait until the death to win it as Earle finished in the corner to secure a famous victory.

"It was a great moment in the season for us – a real pivotal finish. We could've walked away from here with two points, instead we take five”, said the head of rugby.

"We would've been disappointed if we hadn't won that game. We started really well, Bath probably didn't and we capitalised on that.”

While he was relieved, the head coach wasn’t happy at his side’s oscillating performance throughout the game – though he praised the tenacity and hunger of the side.

He said: “Then we didn't play too well for 40 minutes and Bath did, getting themselves back in the game.

“The last 20 minutes was a real humdinger of a game I thought. We have to show that fight and togetherness that we did for the remainder of the season."

The victory moves Harlequins onto 48 points – extending their lead over fourth-placed Gloucester to seven.

Quins have a chance to open the gap further when they face the Cherry & Whites next week, but Gustard is anticipating another tight game in the battle for the semi-final spots.

“They have a talented set of half-backs who can pull the strings,” he added.

“We had a very similar match to today when we faced them earlier in the season, but managed to pull off the away win.”