London Welsh underlined their promotion credentials with an ultimately impressive 22-7 victory over title favourites Brisol at the Kassam Stadium.

League leaders Welsh are now five points clear of the visitors, who stay second.

Bristol had more of the possession and turned down six penalties within kicking range, instead going for the corner and continuing their policy of targeting tries.

They feel this tactic will suit them best in the long run come the play-offs, which they are confident of reaching.

The Exiles took their chances clinically and defended well to restrict Bristol to one try, but know they are likely to have to beat the same opposition when it really matters to secure promotion.

What Welsh will have been less pleased with was a crowd of 1,821, which featured a strong visiting contingent.

For all their on-the-field success this season, the Exiles are a long way from ‘cracking’ Oxford as a fan base.

The significance of the game saw Premiership referee Tim Wigglesworth handed the whistle.

Welsh made a huge statement by turning over the first Bristol scrum ten metres from the visitors’ line, with No 8 Dan Browne picking up and playing man of the match Alex Davies in for a simple finish.

Scrum half Davies converted and the Exiles led 7-0 after six minutes.

Wing Seb Stegmann scythed through the Bristol defence soon afterwards, but the threat was averted.

Instead the visitors went close after passing up a very kickable penalty.

Bristol did the same on 18 minutes after disrupting a home scrum, but their boldness was rewarded when hooker Ross Johnston went over after a strong lineout move.

Fly half Nicky Robinson converted for 7-7 and the match had really come to life.

It was Robinson’s opposite number, Gordon Ross, who created Welsh's second try on 28 minutes, intercepting a poor Bristol pass before the ball was recycled inside for Stegmann to coast in.

Davies converted and it was 14-7 at the end of an intriguing first half that neither side would have been fully happy with.

Bristol had the first chance of the second period, but centre Ben Mosses’s knock-on and a crooked line-out curtailed their hopes.

Both sides rang the changes and it was Welsh replacement scrum half Rob Lewis who went closest to scoring after hacking a loose ball forward, but he lost the race to touch down.

However, Davies slotted a penalty for 17-7 after the home scrum came up trumps.

Bristol came mightily close to a second try after a right-wing break, but replacement scrum half James Grindal knocked on as he tried to dive on the skidding ball.

Welsh sealed victory with an excellent breakaway move, finished on the right by replacement Ben Stedman.

London Welsh: Jewell (R Lewis 60), Stegmann (Awcock 65), May (capt), Parker, Scott, Ross, Davies, Hepburn (Trevett 51), Titterrell (Morris 23-27 (blood), Tideswell (Edwards 51), Lees, Nimmo (West 63), Thorpe, Kirwan (Morris 78), D Browne (Stedman 49).

Bristol: D’Arcy, Watkins, Rennie (Tovey 53), Mosses, Edwards, Rob-inson (Roberts 60), Tipuna (Grindal 71), Traynor (Lilley 70), Johnston (Hayes 51), Douglas, Townson, Sorenson (capt), Mama, Merriman (Eadie 57), Skirving (Grieve 69).

Referee: T Wigglesworth.

Attendance: 1,821.