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Bristol Bears make 'magic' return to Premiership after win against West Country rivals

Bristol's Alapati Leiua scores a try at Ashton Gate stadium. Credit: PA images

Bristol Bears made a "magic" return to the Premiership last night after a home 17-10 win against West Country rivals Bath.

It was also Bristol's biggest home attendance with 26,000 people roaring them to victory.

Bath fought back from nine points to lead when full-back Tom Homer scored a second-half try and Rhys Priestland kicked a conversion and penalty.

But the visitors were punished for a 15th-minute blunder when an unmarked Homer failed to ground the ball after crossing Bristol's line.

Fly-half Ian Madigan's four penalties and a late Alapati Leiua try clinched the victory for last season's Championship winners.

Bristol boss Pat Lam said it was a "magic occasion" and he was "extremely proud of the guys".

"It's nice to be back, and it was a good start for us, but we get back to work on Monday."

Bath rugby director Todd Blackadder said "The points were there for us tonight, but we just didn't capitalise. It was one of those ones we let slip through our fingers."

Next weekend, Bristol take on defending champions Saracens whilst Bath play Gloucester.