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Championship: Newcastle to play Bedford for a place in Aviva Premiership
Newcastle Falcons will face the Bedford Blues in the Championship play-off final following a 15-6 win and 34-30 aggregate triumph over Leeds Carnegie at Kingston Park.
The Falcons were a much-improved team from that which suffered a 24-19 loss to Leeds on Bank Holiday Monday, with their pack laying the platform for excellent field position.
Leeds were the first team with an attempt at points, but Joe Ford's drop-goal attempt was short and wide.
The Falcons responded positively and back-to-back penalties from Jimmy Gopperth gave the home team a 6-0 lead and a one-point advantage on aggregate.
Although Gopperth pushed his next attempt wide of the near post he converted the subsequent two in the 26th and 33rd minutes for a 12-0 lead.
Signs of life
Ford reduced the arrears as Leeds finally showed signs of life, but they squandered the chance to score again when Ford missed with a penalty on the stroke of half time.
Leeds did pull another three points back thanks to Ford's drop-goal, but Newcastle responded ten minutes later through New Zealander Gopperth's successful penalty.
Newcastle could have put the game beyond Leeds although the usually reliable Gopperth missed his next two penalties, points that could have put the visitors more than a converted try behind.
Leeds' defence somehow managed to prevent Newcastle from scoring any more points, but without troubling the scoreboard themselves they will still be in the Championship next season.
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|Sunday 23rd November|
|Cornish Pirates 65 - 14 Bedford|
|Bristol 26 - 17 Rotherham Titans|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|Moseley 26 - 27 Nottingham|
|Doncaster 9 - 19 London Scottish|
|Friday 21st November|
|Yorkshire Carnegie 19 - 19 Plymouth Albion|
|Worcester 32 - 29 Jersey|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Plymouth Albion 10 - 22 Worcester|
|Doncaster 13 - 28 Moseley|
|Rotherham Titans 21 - 13 Cornish Pirates|
|Friday 14th November|
|Nottingham 13 - 27 Bristol|
|Bedford 15 - 10 Yorkshire Carnegie|
|London Scottish 38 - 17 Jersey|
|Sunday 9th November|
|Cornish Pirates 13 - 28 Nottingham|
|Saturday 8th November|
|Jersey 19 - 0 Plymouth Albion|
|Moseley 16 - 9 London Scottish|
|Friday 7th November|
|Yorkshire Carnegie 0 - 6 Rotherham Titans|
|Bristol 24 - 12 Doncaster|
|Worcester 42 - 12 Bedford|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com