RUGBY UNION: Victorious Welsh are back in the big time

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

First published in Sport
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Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

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.

Oxford Utd 0, Stevenage 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:03pm Saturday 20th September 2014

OXFORD United produced an entertaining display but had to settle for a draw as they were unable to find a way past a dogged Stevenage.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Stevenage?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:49pm Saturday 20th September 2014

Oxford Utd v Stevenage - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 20th September 2014

All the latest new from Oxford United's home game against Stevenage in Sky Bet League Two.

Oxford United Wright issues warning

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

Jake Wright believes it will be key for Oxford United to avoid getting dragged into a physical contest if they are to build on a midweek win when Stevenage visit today.

Oxford duo Hylton and Howard set to receive green light

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Top scorer Danny Hylton and Brian Howard are expected to have recovered from midweek knocks to start for Oxford United today.

RUGBY UNION: Welsh form must come first for Tongan Taione

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

TAIONE Vea says he can’t let playing in the World Cup with Tonga distract him from London Welsh’s Aviva Premiership challenge.

CRICKET: Brown set for Uganda trip

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts chairman John Brown is gearing up for a cricketing charity trip to Uganda.

CRICKET: Freeman is rewarded for courage

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Banbury's Amy Freeman has won the CMJ Spirit of Cricket Girls’ Award.

RACING: Young charges have Hill excited about the future

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

With a fresh intake of young horses, Lawney Hill is hoping her Aston Rowant stables will continue to flourish as the jumps season prepares to move up a notch.

RACING: Eve hearing date is set

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

A British Horseracing Authority hearing into the positive morphine test provided by Charlie Wells, from Eve Johnson Houghton’s Blewbury stables, near Didcot, will take place on October 16.

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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