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.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh crash to heaviest defeat at Saracens

Oxford Mail:

8:21pm Sunday 21st December 2014

London Welsh crashed to their heaviest defeat in an already disastrous Aviva Premiership season when they conceded 11 tries in a 78-7 loss to a star-studded Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match at Hartlepool?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:37pm Saturday 20th December 2014

Hartlepool Utd 1 (Ironside 53), Oxford Utd 1 (Hylton 65)

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Saturday 20th December 2014

DANNY Hylton ended his barren run in front of goal as Oxford United came from behind to earn a point against Hartlepool United.

Updates - Hartlepool Utd V Oxford Utd

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 20th December 2014

All the news from Oxford United's Sky Bet League Two clash at Hartlepool United.

Oxford United look to spoil Hartlepool's party

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Andy Whing says Oxford United should expect to beat Hartlepool United this afternoon despite the Football League’s bottom club appointing a new manager this week.

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton is weighing up his striking options

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Michael Appleton’s main selection decision for Oxford United today is picking who leads the line against Hartlepool.

RUGBY: Nathan Morris hoping to get chance to pit his wits against the best

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

LONDON Welsh replacement hooker Nathan Morris is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself against some of the best in the game when they travel to Saracens today, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

TABLE TENNIS: In-form duo maintain relentless title battle

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

Forum A and Holton A kept up their battle for the Division 1 crown, as they both hit an incredible 32 points apiece in the latest round of matches.

BOXING: Ashley Banks cashes in to capture national title

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Banbury BC lightweight Ashley Banks was crowned England junior novice champion after a unanimous points win against Rahul Gondalia (Karmand BC, Bradford) in the final.

ICE HOCKEY: Popular veteran Andy Cox back on board to boost Oxford City Stars

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Oxford City Stars have ex-player Andy Cox back in their ranks when they host Solent Devils in English National League South Division 1 tomorrow (6.15).

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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