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Aviva Premiership: Gloucester pile on the misery for London Welsh
London Welsh remain five points adrift at the foot of the Aviva Premiership after letting slip a winning position in a 15-14 defeat at Gloucester.
The Exiles led 14-6 with less than a quarter of the game remaining, but Freddie Burns added three penalties to the two he kicked in the first half to edge Gloucester to victory.
Wing Phil MacKenzie's 52nd-minute try and three penalties by fly-half Gordon Ross put Premiership basement club London Welsh on the verge of only their fifth league win this season.
The Exiles could hardly have given any more, yet Gloucester prevailed despite being off-colour in most key areas, as Burns' boot decided a dire contest.
Burns and Ross kicked early penalties, but the initial exchanges were littered by mistakes with neither team able to put together a meaningful passage of play.
A dreadful first half ended with Ross and Burns kicking further penalties, making it 6-6 before the teams trooped off.
Gloucester were temporarily reduced to 14 men after 43 minutes when wing Jonny May was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on inside his own 22, and Ross completed his penalty hat-trick with the resulting kick.
London Welsh continued to grow in confidence, and a superb midfield break by wing Seb Stegmann almost produced the opening try after Burns had rifled a penalty chance wide.
The visitors' back row ball carriers - notably number eight Daniel Browne - also began making headway, and Gloucester's defence was finally breached with May still off.
Slick midfield passing proved enough to unlock the Gloucester defence, and when prop James Tideswell was tackled just short of the line, MacKenzie finished off.
Burns' conversion attempt hit the post, but London Welsh were good value for their 14-6 advantage in front of a stunned Gloucester crowd.
Ross should have extended London Welsh's lead after 59 minutes, but he sent an angled penalty chance wide, which meant Gloucester remained within striking distance entering the final quarter.
Burns then narrowed the gap with his third successful penalty before another strike eight minutes later set up a fraught finale, with London Welsh aiming to hang on.
But the visitors could not hold out, and when Burns inched Gloucester ahead there was no way back for a battling, resilient London Welsh outfit.
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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com