By default Ubuntu ships with an ifup script that starts ntpdate in service mode. Not sure why, but in my experience this script often does not work – at least it did not keep the time in sync on any of my machines.
Bash scripts are a great tool for us Linux admins. They primarily help us to execute commands repeatedly and/or very fast. They save much of our valuable lifetime here on earth but the bash scripting language can be very noisy, and often the resulting code is not easy to read for non-bash-gurus.