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.

Stick with us, says Oxford skipper

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

Jake Wright believes Oxford United’s attractive style will mean supporters continue to back the team while they attempt to recover from a slow start to the season.

Slow start no cause for concern - Oxford United boss

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 22nd August 2014

NO points, no goals from open play, no clean sheets – Oxford United’s start to Sky Bet League Two would give plenty of coaches sleepless nights.

Hylton's happy to roam in quest for Oxford United goals

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

DANNY Hylton says he is enjoying being given added freedom by Oxford United boss Michael Appleton to cause other teams problems.

Appleton seeks 'clever' solution to Oxford United's lack of goals

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United have to be creative while they continue to search for targets up front during the transfer window.

RUGBY UNION: Scott ready to stake his Welsh claim

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

Nick Scott is fully aware that London Welsh’s friendly at Pontypridd tomorrow is the last chance to stake a claim for a starting place against Exeter Chiefs.

Busy fixture list welcomed by Oxford United's Brown

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

JUNIOR Brown has welcomed Oxford United’s packed fixture schedule as he edges closer towards reaching match fitness.

FOOTBALL: Skipper Mullings banned as City to keep run going

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

Captain Darren Mullings starts a three-match ban as Oxford City bid to extend their unbeaten start to the season when they visit Solihull Moors tomorrow.

FOOTBALL: Stein believes in Clough's wisdom

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

Edwin Stein believes Banbury United should take heed of legendary manager Brian Clough’s words as they seek to build a team to compete in the Southern League Premier Division.

GOLF: Pepperell shoots 70

Oxford Mail: Eddie Pepperell in action at Wentworth

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

Oxfordshire's Eddie Pepperell shot a two-under-par 70 in the opening round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters in Prague yesterday.

FOOTBALL: Kidlington bid to storm back

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

Martin Wilkinson is looking to his Kidlington team to cut out defensive errors as they take on Highmoor Ibis in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division at Yarnton Road tomorrow.

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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