Bristol earn spot back in Premiership following Championship play-off final victory

Bristol overcame years of play-off heartbreak to book their place back in the Aviva Premiership

Bristol earn spot back in Premiership following Championship play-off final victory
Bristol have been promoted back to the Premiership (image via: BristolRugbyTwitter)

Following years of play-off heartbreak, Bristol Rugby are finally back in the Aviva Premiership.

Andy Robinson's side overcame a dogged Doncaster side over two legs to win 60-47 on aggregate in the Championship final to book their spot back in the top table next season. 

Callum Sheedy kicks three of his 22 points (image via:

Despite losing 34-32 on the night at Ashton Gate, the 15-point buffer Bristol had accumulated from the away leg proved to be enough. 

Young Sheedy boots Bristol back to the Premiership

Man-of-the-match Callum Sheedy started the season as Bristol's fourth-choice fly-halves, yet has been crucial down the stretch for the West Country club. 

Sheedy was immaculate from the kicking tee, scoring 22 points in the second leg, adding to the tries in either half from Will Cliff and James Phillips

Will Cliff crosses for a crucial try just before the break (image via:

Doncaster to their credit were the better team in the second leg, outscoring their hosts five tries to two, yet had given themselves too much of a challenge to overcome from the first leg. 

Will Hurrell really impressed for Donny, and he was the first man to score for the Yorkshire side, with Paul Jarvis, Tyson Lewis, Ollie Steadman and Latu Maakafi also crossing for tries, but their push for a shock victory fell just short. 

Fourth-time lucky for Bristol following seven years in Championship

Having been stuck in the Championship for seven seasons, this win has been a long time coming from Bristol.

Playoff final heartbreak has bit them three times before, with Exeter (2010), London Welsh (2014) and Worcester (2015) all going up at their expense. 

With ten minutes left on the clock, and Doncaster fighting back to within 13 points it felt as though all could go wrong once more, but the home side managed to hold out, with Phillips' try sparking scenes of delight at a sold out Ashton Gate.