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.

ATHLETICS: Clarke keeping focused for Glasgow

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

LAWRENCE Clarke will not allow himself to look beyond the Commonwealth Games as he prepares for two championships in three weeks.

CRICKET: Sorry Shrivenham bowled all out for 9

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

9:20am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

SHRIVENHAM 2nd captain Martin Hammond was rueing his side’s chronic availability after seeing them bow-led out for just nine runs in their Division 6 match at home to Faringdon 2nd.

London Welsh sign second row James Down

Oxford Mail: London Welsh are staying at the Kassam

9:18am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

London Welsh have made their 24th new signing of the summer after announcing the arrival of second row James Down.

CRICKET: Rae ton boosts Westbury

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

BEN Rae smashed an unbeaten century as Westbury stretched their lead at the top with a 69-run win at Minster Lovell, writes David Quinn.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: England out to shine on national service

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

HANNAH England will not take making the final for granted when she competes in the 1,500m at Glasgow.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Chance encounter set Rivers on course

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

WHEN Dan Rivers was first introduced to target shooting aged 13 at a fair with his grandad, he couldn’t have imagined it would one day lead to the Commonwealth Games, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Douglas delight

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

OXFORD City triple jumper Nathan Douglas has had to shrug off a series of injury setbacks to make the England team.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Buoyant French's medal tilt

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

OAKLEY’S Matt French will compete in the double trap event as part of England’s 12-strong clay target shooting team.

AUNT SALLY: Ruffels leads Garsington to break Six Bells' streak

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

PREMIER Section leaders Six Bells C Kidlington lost for the first time this season as they were edged out in a thriller at Section 1’s Garsington Sports A, writes ANDY BEAL.

TENNIS: Third pair set up Oxon's first victory

Oxford Mail: tennis racket hitting ball for sport

7:00am Wednesday 23rd July 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S men, inspired by third pair Tom Greenland & Benedict Calnan, recorded their first victory in Group 5 of the Aegon Summer County Cup at West Worthing with a 7-2 triumph over Hereford & Worcester.

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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