Oxford MailRUGBY UNION: Victorious Welsh are back in the big time (From Oxford Mail)

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RUGBY UNION: Victorious Welsh are back in the big time

Oxford Mail: London Welsh's Mitch Lees is stopped in his tracks by a Bristol opponent London Welsh's Mitch Lees is stopped in his tracks by a Bristol opponent

Bristol 20

(tries Short, Eadie, Hughes; con Jarvis; pen Robinson)

London Welsh 21

(tries Vella, Stegmann; con Ross; pens Ross 2; drop goal Ross)

London Welsh win 48-28 on aggregate

A smash and grab raid saw London Welsh pip Bristol on the night and secure promotion to the Premiership by a 20-point margin.

Trailing by 19 points before kick-off, the hosts had reduced that deficit to eight with ten minutes to go.

Although Bristol dominated their final match at the Memorial Stadium, late tries from Nathan Vella and Seb Stegmann not only gave Welsh an immediate top-flight return, but denied the hosts a consolation victory.

It could have been different had Bristol fly half Nicky Robinson kicked better off the tee, but this was another battling display from Justin Burnell's warriors.

Ultimately, the damage had been done with Welsh's 27-8 victory at Oxford's Kassam Stadium in the first leg, but this was the icing on the cake.

Bristol began full of intensity, but Welsh managed to secure a clearing penalty.

The opening scrum on five minutes yielded Bristol a penalty and a kick to the corner.

From here, the visiting defence conceded a further penalty inside the 22, but Robinson's eighth minute kick squirted wide.

Robinson saw a further long-range attempt miss the left upright on 12 minutes.

Bristol continued to have most of the play without creating scoring chances.

Welsh fly half Gordon Ross was happy to kick the ball in the wet conditions and his side were pleased to reach the quarter mark scoreless.

The visitors' first foray into the Bristol 22 produced the opening points.

Several pick and drives set up a successful drop goal attempt from Ross on 28 minutes.

Oxford Mail:

London Welsh's Mitch Lees claims line-out ball

Bristol's progress was hamstrung by several knock-ons, while Welsh showed good enterprise to run the ball clear through wing Stegmann.

The hosts looked to have wasted a good chance when they lost a close-range line-out, but scored the opening try soon afterwards.

Robinson's cross kick picked out wing Andy Short, who did well to get over the line, with the video referee confirming the score amid appeals the ball was held up.

Welsh lost full back Alan Awcock to injury, but replied soon afterwards with a penalty from Ross via a post.

Visiting scrum half Chris Cook was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on as the hosts threatened again.

Bristol ended the half 8-6 ahead on the night when Robinson slotted a penalty on the whistle.

The second half had barely started when Bristol worked an excellent line-out move and No 8 Mitch Eadie powered over in the corner.

Robinson's conversion went wide, but Bristol were 13-6 ahead and trailed by just 12 on aggregate.

The hosts continued to press as the atmosphere ratcheted up even further.

Robinson, however, was struggling with the boot and sliced another penalty wide.

Ross, however, was in better form and made it 13-9 with a 68th minute penalty.

Bristol were not rolling over and Adam Hughes barged through for a try, converted by fellow replacement Adrian Javis.

That reduced the arrears to eight points and the hosts had real hope.

Oxford Mail:

London Welsh's Gordon Ross kicks for position

But just as they had against Leeds at the Kassam Stadium, Welsh finished with an astonishing burst to win the second leg.

A superb driving maul saw replacement hooker Nathan Vella power over in the corner, with the try awarded after a lengthy visit to the TMO.

That ended any hopes of Bristol gaining promotion, but having dominated for so long, they didn't even have the consolation of a home win.

This was because Stegmann hacked a loose ball through from halfway to outpace the defence and ground it by the posts.

Ross's conversion incredibly put Welsh 21-20 up on the night.

Bristol pushed for a fourth try, but the visitors won a penalty to clear and end an incredible game.

Bristol: Wallace, Amesbury, Tovey (Hughes 68), Mosses, Short, Robinson (Jarvis 57), Tipuna (capt) (Grindal 76), Traynor (Hall 61), Johnston (Laurence 61), Cortes (Hobson 57), Glynn, Townson, Koster (Skirving 69), Mama, Eadie.

London Welsh: Awcock (Crane 35), Stegmann, May (capt), Jewell, Scott, Ross, Cook, Trevett (Bristow 50), Morris (Vella 60), Edwards (Tideswell 41), Spencer (West 54), Corker, Lees (Stedman 68), Kirwan, Thorpe. Rep not used: R Lewis.

Referee: L Pearce (RFU).

Man-of-the-match: Eadie.

Attendance: 10,905.

CRICKET: Price and Ward fire centuries in big victory

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

CENTURIES from captain Tom Price and Harrison Ward helped Oxfordshire Under 14s to a poignant 103-run victory over Shropshire ECB in County Cup Group 2.

SWIMMING: Wood makes it a deadly dozen in City's Open

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

CITY of Oxford’s Chris Wood won 12 gold medals in the club’s July Open Gala at Temple Cowley.

SWIMMING: Super Wilkinson through to open water nationals

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

DIDCOT Barramundi’s Freddie Wilkinson won a gold medal in the ASA British Gas South East Regional Open Water Championship at Westhampnett Lake, near Chichester.

SCHOOLS' SPORT: Fajemisin secures silver as trio shine in Cardiff

Oxford Mail: Simi Fajemisin

7:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

Oxfordshire athletes won three medals for England in the SIAB Under 17 Under 17 International at Cardiff.

ANGLING: Webb earns top honours

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

MATCH NEWS

CRICKET: Davies leads Oxfordshire to third win in a row

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

ALEX Davies scored a fluent 69 as Oxfordshire Under 17s posted their third successive ECB Cup victory with a 63-run success away to Bedfordshire at Southill Park.

CRICKET: Charlbury thwarted as Freeland go top

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

7:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

Freeland moved to the top of the Oxfordshire Midweek League with a 24-run win at Charlbury.  After being inserted, the visitors made a respectable 104-3 from their 16 overs. Carla Wood led the way with 28 not out, while Rhian Todd (25no) and Suzy Halsey (18) also contributed.  Charlbury made a flying start in reply with Caroline Shearer hitting an unbeaten 27, including six fours, as they raced to 53-0 after eight overs. However, Freeland managed to put the brakes on and restricted to Charlbury to 80-4. Robyn Coburn was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors with 2-4. RESULT Freeland 104-3 (C Wood 28no, R Todd 25no), Charlbury 80-4 (C Shearer 27no, R Coburn 2-4). l CHARLBURY held on to second spot in ECB Women’s Midlands League Division 2 despite not playing. No Oxfordshire sides were in action this week, but Astwood Bank’s surprise defeat at bottom club Moddershall boosted Charlbury.

CRICKET: Cumnor are champions

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

Cumnor were crowned Oxfordshire Under 13 champions after beating Great & Little Tew by six wickets at Bicester & North Oxford.

TENNIS: Oxon men on the up after last-day victory

Oxford Mail: tennis racket hitting ball for sport

7:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

Oxfordshire's men clinched promotion to Summer County Cup Group 4 with a 5-2 win against Buckinghamshire at West Worthing yesterday.

ICE SKATING: County aces target nationals

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 26th July 2014

Oxford skaters Natasha Nemeth Knight (15), Maeve Hastings (13) and Alicia Boyer (10) head to Sheffield Arena in November to compete in the national championships.

Comments (1)

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12:01am Thu 5 Jun 14

davhil says...

Stunning performance. Great defence with outstanding contributions all round. Tom May's work rate never drops and Gordon Ross organised superbly. One more season, wee man? C'mon the Welsh!
Stunning performance. Great defence with outstanding contributions all round. Tom May's work rate never drops and Gordon Ross organised superbly. One more season, wee man? C'mon the Welsh! davhil
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