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Bristol march on
Bristol roll on and move top of Pool Three with win over Harlequins.
Bristol moved joint top of Pool Three of the Heineken Cup after a 20-7 victory over Harlequins at the Memorial Ground.
The first half remained scoreless with the only incident of note being Danny Care's sin-binning just before the interval.
Bristol took advantage with David Lemi's try just after the break, but Quins responded with a converted try from Tom Williams.
The home side soon got back on the front foot though, and tries from David Blaney and Alex Clarke along with a penalty from David Hill saw them home by 13 points.
The result sees Bristol continue to surprise in this season's Heineken Cup, and they join Cardiff Blues at the top of Pool Three on 12 points and squeeze French giants Stade Francais down into third.
History was made in the opening 40 minutes in Bristol, as the two sides played out the first ever scoreless half in the Heineken Cup, with only Care's sin-binning for Quins a noteworthy incident.
Bristol took advantage of the extra man five minutes after the restart when Rob Higgitt helped send Somoa international Lemi clear to score in the corner.
Quins managed to hit back though almost immediately despite the one-man deficit, with Williams touching down after Simon Keogh's kick forward, and Adrian Jarvis' conversion actually put 14-man Quins ahead at 7-5.
That was to be Quins' last scoring action though as Bristol hit back, starting with their second try which came just five minutes after going behind.
Substitute hooker Blaney got the vital touch as Bristol's forwards piled over the visiting try line, after only being on the pitch for ten minutes.
After Hill again missed the conversion, he managed to kick a penalty successfully to extend Bristol's lead to 12-7 but the visitors were still only a try away.
The victory was not finally sealed until the last minute when Clarke went in for Bristol's third try, which replacement Jason Strange converted for 20-7.
Neither side could go on and gain a bonus point and Bristol had to settle for a share of top spot with Cardiff which ensures a thrilling end to the group.
A third win of the season over Harlequins keeps Bristol in with a big shout of qualifying from a tough group, and it is in their own hands with a trip to Paris to face Stade and a home clash with the Blues still to come.
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|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Sunday 25th January|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Munster 65 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Clermont Auvergne 18 - 6 Saracens|
|Bath 20 - 15 Glasgow Warriors|
|Montpellier 27 - 26 Toulouse|
|Saturday 24th January|
|Scarlets 3 - 26 Toulon|
|Ulster 26 - 7 Leicester Tigers|
|Northampton 8 - 32 Racing Metro Paris|
|Treviso 23 - 20 Ospreys|
|Castres 19 - 47 Harlequins|
|Wasps 20 - 20 Leinster|
|Sunday 18th January|
|Ospreys 9 - 20 Northampton|
|Racing Metro Paris 53 - 7 Treviso|
|Toulouse 18 - 35 Bath|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 10 Montpellier|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Harlequins 3 - 23 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 13 - 22 Clermont Auvergne|
|Leinster 50 - 8 Castres|
|Toulon 60 - 22 Ulster|
|Saracens 33 - 10 Munster|
|Friday 16th January|
|Leicester Tigers 40 - 23 Scarlets|
|Sunday 14th December|
|Scarlets 22 - 13 Ulster|
|Clermont Auvergne 26 - 19 Munster|
|Wasps 44 - 17 Castres|
|Saturday 13th December|
|Leinster 14 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saracens 28 - 15 Sale Sharks|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com