Report this comment
  • "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!"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

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 Rugby
Last updated
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.

FOOTBALL: Oxford City pressing on with 3G ambition despite uncertainty

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 7th May 2015

OXFORD City managing director Colin Taylor says the club’s plans to install an artificial pitch at Marsh Lane remain unchanged – despite confusion over their use at a higher level.

Hundreds of Oxford United supporters flock to buy new season tickets on first day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 7th May 2015

OXFORD United sold 250 season tickets yesterday after supporters reacted enthusiastically to the club cutting prices.

FOOTBALL: Banbury United and North Leigh eye Senior Cup consolation

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Thursday 7th May 2015

BANBURY United manager Paul Davis believes being crowned Oxfordshire Senior Cup champions tonight would be a fitting reward for his players’ efforts this season.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Sorry Saints are battered by Storm

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 7th May 2015

OXFORD Saints’ excellent start to the season was halted as they crashed to a 50-16 defeat at Swindon Storm.

LONDON WELSH: Hala’ufia banned for five weeks

Oxford Mail: London Welsh are staying at the Kassam

8:00am Thursday 7th May 2015

LONDON Welsh’s Chris Hala’ufia has been suspended for five weeks after pleading guilty to striking an opponent during the 38-17 defeat to Leicester Tigers on April 25.

RUGBY UNION: New signing Joe Vandermolen excited by Chinnor potential

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Thursday 7th May 2015

NEW signing Joe Vandermolen says he is excited about joining Chinnor ahead of next season after leaving Greene King IPA Championship side Bedford Blues.

RUGBY UNION: James Eckert hails Oxfordshire’s team ethos

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 7th May 2015

CAPTAIN James Eckert says coming up against players from higher divisions is all the motivation he needs to demand a performance out of his Oxfordshire teammates.

BOWLS: Oxfordshire begin cup build-up

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 7th May 2015

Oxfordshire start their build-up for this year’s Middleton Cup campaign with a trial match away to Northamptonshire at Kingsthorpe BC on Saturday.

ATHLETICS: David Bruce edges to victory in opening race

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 7th May 2015

Oxford City AC’s David Bruce won the first race of the Mota-vation Summer Road Race Series by five seconds at Charlton-on-Otmoor.

RUGBY UNION: Chinnor youngsters go unbeaten to win top honours

Oxford Mail:

6:40am Thursday 7th May 2015

CHINNOR Under 15s emerged victorious from the Tigers Challenge Rugby Festival in Minehead after a 5-0 victory over Pontypridd in the final.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree