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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Sunday, April 14th 2019

As it happened: Bristol Bears 23-21 Saracens

Ian Madigan's last-gasp penalty fired Bristol Bears to a seventh Gallagher Premiership win of the season, as Pat Lam's men came from behind three times to down champions Saracens at Ashton Gate.

Bristol trailed 7-6 at the break after two Callum Sheedy penalties were cancelled out by Tom Whitely's debut try, but Steven Luatua crossed early in the second half to give the hosts the lead for the first time in the match.

Marcelo Bosch scored Sarries' second before Dan Thomas went over midway through the half - and Mark McCall's men looked to have snatched it late on when Ralph Adams-Hale powered over ten minutes from time.

But up stepped Madigan, as he did at Franklin's Gardens in March, to slot an 80th-minute penalty to sink Saracens in front of a nearly 15,000 supporters at Ashton Gate.

Relive all of the action as we dissect the key moments, as they happened, from Saturday's clash.


Whitely opens the scoring.
Sheedy lands a penalty.
Luatua goes over for Bears.
Thomas on his way to the line.
Madigan lands killer blow.

2 mins – Holmes steals the lineout on Saracens' throw and the ball breaks loose to Thacker, who shakes off two tacklers and charges 30 metres before being hauled down by the covering Maitland.

5 minsPEN MISSED – Goode off target after Bristol penalised at the breakdown 35 metres out. Let off for the hosts.

9 minsTRY0-7 – Malins returns the kick with interest and glides through a hole before sending a superb inside pass to scrum half Tom Whitely on debut. Goode converts.

12 minsPEN3-7 – A high tackle on Vui is punished by referee Tom Foley, and Sheedy knocks over the simple penalty from in front of the posts.

27 minsPEN MISSED – Saracens penalised for obstruction from a kick chase, but Sheedy’s long-range effort fades wide of the posts.

39 minsPEN6-7 – Big scrum from Bristol earns a penalty on the angle, just outside the 22 – and Sheedy fires it through to narrow the gap at half-time.

HT: Bristol Bears 6-7 Saracens

45 minsTRY13-7 – Scintillating from Protheroe, scything through Sarries defence on the counter attack and feeding Leiua, who sends Luatua in under the posts for a beautifully worked try. Sheedy converts.

55 minsYELLOW – Thacker sent to the bin for collapsing the Saracens maul as it rumbled towards the try line. Set back for Bristol, with the visitors in charge at the moment.

56 minsTRY13-14 – It was coming. Centre Marcelo Bosch joins the driving maul to touch down for Sarries' second score of the evening. Goode converts and the champions are back in front..

64 minsTRY20-14 – That's a beauty. Incredible work from Afoa, who hits a fantastic line off Uren before sending Thomas in under the posts with Bears still down to 14 men. Sheedy converts.

69 minsTRY20-21 – Saracens back in front with ten minutes left to play, as replacement prop, Adams-Hale powers over from close range after flat pass from Spencer. Goode's conversion restores visitors' lead.

79 mins - Patient play from the home side just outside the Saracens 22 - and after a strong carry from Heenan, the referee penalises Jackson Wray for not rolling away, leaving Madigan with a kick to win the game.

80 minsPEN23-21 – Ice in his veins. Madigan is the Bristol Bears match-winner once again, as he was at Franklin's Gardens, stepping up to land the decisive kick and steer Bristol to a memorable victory over the reigning champions. Glorious.

FT: Bristol Bears 23-21 Saracens