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Bristol edge past Exiles
Hosts prevail in hard-fought match at the Memorial Stadium
Tom Arscott marked his home debut with a fifth-minute try as Bristol claimed their first Guinness Premiership win of the season with a 14-11 success against London Irish at the Memorial Stadium.
Bristol fly-half David Hill opened the scoring with a simple penalty after the Exiles' were penalised for off-side in the second minute.
The hosts lead was soon extended to 8-0 when full-back Josh Taumalolo entered the line at pace and put Arscott into the corner with a well-timed pass.
Delon Armitage got London Irish on the board with an 11th-minute penalty, but defences largely remained dominant.
Hill re-opened Bristol's eight-point advantage with another penalty, but Armitage responded in kind to reduce the Exiles' deificit at the break to 11-6.
The visitors dominated the early stages of the second-half and almost gained their reward when winger Topsy Ojo was bundled into touch just short of the line.
Taumalolo was fortunate to escape a yellow card on 55 minutes when his high tackle on Exiles' fly-half Shane Geraghty went unpunished.
Hill slotted his third penalty in the 58th minute to extend Bristol's lead to 14-6 heading into the final quarter.
The Exiles' forwards applied pressure in the closing stages, but when they were awarded a couple of penalties they opted to go for the scrum.
And although replacement flanker Steffon Armitage finally touched down in the 67th minute, it was not enough as Bristol hung on for the win courtesy of some solid defending in the final stages.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com