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Will Carpenter


Posted Sunday, December 2nd 2018

Report: Bristol Bears 'A' 26-22 Harlequins 'A'

Bristol Bears 'A' got back to winning ways in the Premiership Shield with a bonus-point 26-22 victory over Harlequins 'A' at Clifton RFC on Sunday afternoon.

Tom Pincus' first-half brace was cancelled out by tries from Nick Auterac and Max Coyle to give Quins a 14-17 lead at half-time.

But Bristol hit back after the break to claim an important win, as Nick Fenton-Wells and Reiss Cullen crossed in the final quarter - either side of a Charlie Walker try for Quins - to seal a narrow victory for the home team. 

What happened?

In soggy conditions at Clifton RFC, Bristol made the ideal start when Mat Protheroe, on his long-awaited return from injury, took off on a lovely outside arc before feeding Tom Pincus in the right-hand corner. 

Tiff Eden added the touchline conversion before knocking over a more simple effort from under the posts, after his fend, break and pin-point long-range pass had sent Pincus in for his second on 15 minutes. 

But back came Quins, with scrum-half Niall Saunders sniping his way through the Bristol defence before locating Nick Auterac to crash over unopposed. 

Ross Chisholm added the conversion and then a penalty as Quins closed the gap to four points. And the visitors took the lead on the half-hour mark when the electric Charlie Walker broke from deep to give Max Coyle the simplest of run ins. 

The home side almost responded with immediate effect, but Sam Graham's lose-range effort was ruled out for a double-movement by referee, Nick Wood, as Quins took a three-point lead into the half-time break. 

Nick Fenton-Wells touches down during the second-half (JMPUK).

Bristol restored their lead midway through the second half when, after turning down a shot at goal inside the Quins 22, Nick Fenton-Wells applied the finishing touches to a well-worked driving lineout.

The visitors soon responded, and after being adjudged held up minutes before, Charlie Walker stepped his way to the whitewash for Quins third try on 63 minutes to edge them back into the lead.

But Cullen was Bristol's match-winner 12 minutes from time, stepping and sniping his way under the posts for the bonus-point try and giving Bedlow the simplest of conversions, as Bristol ended a run of three straight defeats in the competition. 

The teams:

Bristol Bears ‘A’: Protheroe; Sarto (trialist), Bedlow, Pisi, Pincus; Eden, Stirzaker; Dawe, Lindsay, Faletau, Hawkins, Ehizode, Graham, Heenan (c), Haining.
Replacements: Fenton-Wells, Cosgrove, English, Adegbite (Old Colstonians), Capon, Cullen, Bates (Academy U18s) Holden (Cornish Pirates).

Harlequins ‘A’: Walker, Coyle, Alofa Alofa, Lasike, Barlow, Chisholm, Saunders; Auterac, Head, Ibuanopke, Hammond, Brown, Kenningham, Wallace, White.
Replacements: Musk, Lambert, Sassone, Johnson, Lewis, Boatman, Cheeseman.

Bristol: Tries: Pincus 9, 15, Fenton-Wells 55, Cullen 68. Cons: Eden 9, 15, Bedlow 68

Quins: Tries: Auterac 25, Coyle 33, Walker 64. Cons: Chisholm 25, 33. Pens: Chisholm 30