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Page last updated at 21:48 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 22:48 UK

Bristol 28-15 London Welsh

Bristol (17) 28
Tries: Winters, Fatialofa, Robinson Cons: Jarvis 2 Pens: Jarvis 3
Dragons (10) 15
Tries: Shabbo, Claassens Con: Thomas Pen: Thomas


Bristol are through to the Championship play-off final after a nervy but hard-fought home win over London Welsh.

Paul Hull's side were 7-0 down inside a minute when fly-half Adrian Jarvis had his kick charged down and Dominic Shabbo crashed over for the visitors.

But tries from Roy Winters and Junior Fatialofa turned it round to earn Bristol a 17-10 half-time lead.

Two second-half Jarvis penalties and a Lee Robinson try opened up a gap before Errie Claassens touched down for Welsh.

Paul Hull's side will now face Exeter in the two-leg final at Sandy Park on 19 May, with the second leg at the Memorial Stadium on 26 May. But, for the first 20 minutes, stung by the shock of that early try, Bristol looked anything like potential finalists.

Nerves seem to get the better of them as loose passes were thrown and line out ball lost - and they were unrecognisable from the team that had handed out a 10-try thrashing to Cornish Pirates the week before.

Bristol showed great resolve - Jarvis

But then, after an exchange of penalties, a good rolling maul in an attacking position in the London Welsh 22 brought Bristol to within a couple of metres of the line and captain Winters drove over, Jarvis's conversion levelling it at 10-10.

Sustained pressure during the next 10 minutes then brought its rewards when Fatialofa bundled over under the posts to nose Bristol in front at the break.

Hull's men then dominated for the first 20 minutes of the second half, Jarvis kicking two more penalties to extend their lead to 23-10 either side of the Exiles having hooker Chris Whitehead sin-binned for illegally slowing down Bristol ball.

And Bristol took advantage of the extra man to score their third and clinching try through winger Robinson.

The visitors did score a second try with 10 minutes left through Claassens but Bristol played the clock down.

They will now face Exeter in the two-leg final.

Having been ranked No 1 on their play-off pool record, Bristol will have the advantage of playing the away leg first (Wednesday 19 May, 1945 BST) before hosting the second leg a week later (Wednesday 26 May, 1945 BST).

Bristol fly-half Adrian Jarvis told BBC Points West:

"It's not ideal being seven points down after about 25 seconds but the guys rallied round and pulled it back together."

"Once we started to keep the ball a bit and go through the phases we looked a very good attacking side."

"At the beginning of the season we talked about getting into the best position to get promoted and it's a two horse race and we're right there."

Bristol: L Arscott, Robinson, Eves, Fatialofa, T Arscott, Jarvis, Spice, Crompton, Blaney, Thompson, Budgett, Winters, Pennycook, Merriman, Phillips.
Replacements: Hayes, Irish, Montagu, Grieve, Alford, Davies, Adams.

London Welsh: A Thomas, Sampson, Shabbo, Mackey, Claassens, Ross, Runciman, Williams, Whitehead, Ward, Corker, Powell, Mills, Hills, Beach.
Replacements: O'Meara, Holford, B Thomas, Bonner-Evans, Lewis, Whatling, Starling.

Referee: D Rose (RFU).

Attendance: 5,717.

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see also
Blaney play-off boost for Bristol
05 May 10 |  Rugby Union
Cornish Pirates 15-60 Bristol
01 May 10 |  Rugby Union
Bristol hooker suffers broken leg
22 Apr 10 |  Rugby Union

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