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.

BRADLEY SMITH'S VIEWS: Brno is in the past, let's get ready for Silverstone

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Thursday 21st August 2014

No good dwelling on the Brno result and unfortunately it seems to be the way my season has panned out, but it certainly keeps me focused and ready for Silverstone.

LONDON WELSH: Olly Barkley backs Exiles to surprise this season

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 21st August 2014

LONDON Welsh are not just in the Aviva Premiership this season to make up the numbers.

Oxford United boss admits results could put off some targets

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Thursday 21st August 2014

MICHAEL Appleton admits Oxford United’s losing start to the Sky Bet League Two season could have an effect on their search to attract players before the end of the transfer window.

BAR BILLIARDS: Patey stars at the double

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

John Patey led the way for West Oxford Democrats Club in their 4½-1½ win over Vikings in Group A of the Oxford Summer League, writes PETE EWINS.

BOWLS: Ley and Petersen denied in national agony

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Alan Ley and Mike Petersen suffered an agonising 20-18 defeat in the Bowls England Men’s National Senior Pairs Championship final at Royal Leamington Spa.

RUGBY UNION: Tombleson is 'significant' appointment for England

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

TRIPLE Oxford Blue Tom Tombleson has been appointed as England’s strength and conditioning coach.

BOWLS: Oxon veteran Ley reaches 800-game milestone

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxford City & County’s Alan Ley chalked up another landmark with his 800th game for Oxfordshire in their 129-89 win over Buckinghamshire in a friendly at Long Crendon.

BOWLS: Headington to face City & County in final

Oxford Mail: Headington’s Jason King kept up his impressive record in the win over Oxford City & County A

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Headington A will face Oxford City & County A in the Oxford & District League Cup final for the third time in four years.

CRICKET: Barbados dream over for Rowant

Oxford Mail: Wesley Morrick

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Aston Rowant’s dreams of a trip to the Caribbean were dashed as they fell to an agonising six-run home defeat against Reigate Priory in the Barbados & Smile Group Travel Cup semi-final.

BOWLS: Central duo's challenge flounders in last four

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Carole Galletly and Caroline Campion reached the Bowls England Women’s National Pairs Championship semi-finals before seeing their title dreams shattered.

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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