Premiership: Bristol Bears 16-10 Sale Sharks
|Bristol Bears (9) 16|
|Tries: Lloyd Con: Sheedy Pens: Sheedy 3|
|Sale Sharks (0) 10|
|Try: Neild Con: McGinty Pen: McGinty|
Bristol's defence held off Sale to win an attritional Premiership match.
Callum Sheedy's three penalties put the Bears 9-0 up at half time but Sharks laid siege to Bristol after the restart; AJ McGinty's penalty broke their duck 20 minutes into the half.
Sharks forced Chris Vui into the sin-bin for the last 10 minutes, but it was Bristol who sealed the game with Ioan Lloyd's try with three minutes left.
Sale's Cameron Neild went over after an intercept to seal a losing bonus point.
The visitors should have done better after the break after having almost all the territory and much of the possession, but errors and good defence stymied their efforts.
It was not until the final few minutes that the game finally saw some tries - impressive 18-year-old back Lloyd reading the bounce from Harry Randall's box kick to sprint over for his maiden Premiership try, and it was just as well for the hosts as Neild raced over.
The win sees Bristol leapfrog Sale and move into second place in the table with four games still to be played over the weekend.
Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam told BBC Radio Bristol:
"I'm really pleased to get the win and really pleased with the boys to stay in there.
"As we grow to be a Champions Cup team we're going to have to play different styles.
"To grind out the win, if we're going to be that team we're going to have to play that way and I'm pleased for the boys
"We're gutted we conceded a try at the end because we've now conceded one try every game and all of those tries are soft, we should never be giving those away, so there are still works on but that was a massive shift in that style."
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond:
"We didn't play very well at all and in the first half, we were very poor.
"Both sides kicked a lot, they kicked a bit better than we did, and we gave away soft penalties so they got their noses in front.
"Before the interval, we didn't get in their half but we improved in the second half, with the change of half-backs giving us some more tempo.
"However, the basics failed us and our lineout didn't get going so I don't think we deserved more than a point as we panicked when we had a good chance with them down to 14 men."
Bristol Bears: C Piutau, Morohan, O'Conor, S Piutau, Daniels, Sheedy, Uren, Woolmore, Malton, Afoa, Attwood, Vui, Luatua (capt), Heenan, Hughes.
Replacements: Thacker, Thomas, Lahiff, Holmes, Thomas, Randall, Lloyd, Hurrell.
Sale Sharks: Hammersley, Yarde, Redpath, van Rensburg, McGuigan, R du Preez, Cliff, Harrison, Webber, Cooper-Woolley, Beaumont, Evans, J-L du Preez, Ross (capt), D du Preez.
Replacements: Van der Merwe, Morozov, Oosthuizen, Phillips, Neild, Papier, MacGinty, James.
Referee: Christophe Ridley.