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REPORT: Bristol United 37 - 26 Harlequins 'A'

Bristol United ran in four tries to seal a bonus-point 37-26 victory over Harlequins ‘A’ at Clifton RFC on Monday night.

Max Crumpton, Charlie Amesbury, Giorgi Nemsadze and Jordan Williams all touched down in an impressive United display, while Billy Searle’s 100% kicking record saw him finish with a 17-point haul.

In an action-packed opening quarter, Georgian international Giorgi Nemsadze announced himself to the Bristol faithful with a couple of surging carries into the Quins defence – and after a spell of sustained pressure in the Quins half, Searle opened the scoring for the hosts with a well-struck penalty on five minutes.

Bristol continued to dominate possession and territory and after a penalty had been awarded at the scrum, Searle prodded into touch and hooker Max Crumpton rumbled over at the back of a driving maul.

Searle, who was enjoying an impressive first-half, knocked over a pinpoint conversion from the right-hand touchline to extend the lead to 10-0 after 14 minutes.

The fly-half was very much in the thick of the action and his cross-field bomb almost led to a chance for Charlie Amesbury.

Amesbury went close again on 31 minutes after another deft touch from Searle, but the winger was on hand minutes later to round off a sweeping handling move and slide over in the left-hand corner - Searle’s conversion was once again, spot on.

Quins came surging back into the contest with two tries in as many minutes, with first Winston Stanley latching on to Ruaridh Jackson’s inside pass to touch down – and straight from the restart, Charlie Walker collected a loose ball before sprinting 70 metres for a superb individual score.

But it was Searle who had the final say of the half, firing over a 45-metre penalty to give Bristol a six-point lead heading into the break.

After a scrappy start to the second-half, it was the home side who struck first with Nemsadze rumbling over following another strong driving maul.

Searle converted to open up a 27-14 lead, but seven minutes later Bristol were reduced to 14 men when Nick Koster was shown a yellow card for an infringement at the breakdown.

From the resulting penalty, Quins kicked to the corner and James Chisholm powered over to score the visitor’s third try of the evening.

The 15 minutes that followed were played out predominantly in the middle third and from here, Searle struck his third penalty of the evening for a 30-19 lead.

With four minutes to play, James Lang picked off a loose pass in midfield to scamper 70 metres for a converted try to ensure a nervy few minutes – but with the final play of the game, a sweeping handling move involving Nick Carpenter and Thretton Palamo freed up Jordan Williams to cruise in for the bonus-point try and Searle’s conversion completed a 37-26 victory for Bristol United.

Teams:

Bristol Rugby: Jordan Williams; Elias Caven, Thretton Palamo, Nick Carpenter, Charlie Amesbury; Billy Searle, Martin Roberts (Uren 63); Ryan Bevington (O’Connell 40), Max Crumpton (Hawkins 74), Jamal Ford-Robinson (Hall 63), Giorgi Nemsadze, Mark Sorenson (Joyce 51), Nick Koster, Nick Fenton-Wells (c), Rayn Smid (Edwards 65).

Replacements: Rob Hawkins, Jack O’Connell, James Hall, Joe Joyce, BJ Edwards, Andy Uren, Robbie Forbes (Hartpury), Maliq Holden (Hartpury/Clifton).

Harlequins ‘A’: Aaron Morris, Sam Aspland-Robinson, Matt Hopper (c), Winston Stanley (Lang 58), Charlie Walker, Ruaridh Jackson (Swiel 40), Karl Dickson (Mulchrone 40); Mark Lambert, Joe Gray (Evans 40), Adam Jones, Stan South, George Merrick, Archie White, James Chisholm, George Naoupu.

Replacements: Charlie Piper, Owen Evans, Matt Shields, Nathan Thomas, Charlie Mulchrone, Tim Swiel, James Lang, Gabriel Ibitoye.