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Report: Bristol United 19-33 London Irish

Bristol United fought back from a 26-5 deficit to 26-19 in their return fixture with London Irish A, and they battled hard to draw level before conceding a late try.

The United made a dream start, taking the lead after six minutes. Will Hurrell ran 40 metres from his own half and Irish were penalised.

From the subsequent lineout Billy Searle sent a crosskick to the right where Ryan Edwards wrestled the ball from his opposite number Ben Ransom to score a try.

Searle missed the conversion, and Irish were soon on level terms when winger Topsy Ojo intercepted to cross in the right corner.

Five minutes later the visitors took the lead when scrum half Ben Meehan picked up a loose ball and crossed unopposed under the posts.

He converted his own try. At the start of the second quarter Irish extended their lead when Meehan gave a scoring pass to centre Johnny Williams, the scrum half again adding the extras.

London Irish dominated territory and possession for most of the remainder of the half, and they extended their lead with a penalty try at a five metre scrum.

However, just before the break, Sam Bedlow crossed for a try after the ball was recycled from a driving maul.

Searle’s conversion went over via a post, making the half time score 26-12. There was no scoring for much of the second half, although Jack Tovey nearly set up a try with a 30 metre burst.

Eventually, the United got a deserved try when replacement Sam Cappaert kicked over the line and Edwards touched down.

Cappaert’s conversion set up an exciting final five minutes. The United tried desperately to break from their 22, but with time almost up, Ransom collected a stray pass to run clear for a try. Outside half Greg Tonks converted with the final kick of the evening.

By Mark Hoskins, club historian.