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By Tom Garry
BBC Sport at Ashton Gate
Bristol Bears opened the Premiership season with a win over Bath at a crowded Ashton Gate to local rivals.
Nathan Hughes and luke Morahan spanned for Bristol however Zach Mercer.
Mat Protheroe put the Bears 17-13 up right along with his pace aided Piers O’Conor extend the lead.
Ioan Lloyd, john Afoa and Morahan again assured Stuart Hooper dropped his first league match as director of rugby.
Bath were defeated 17-10 in the past year’s season-opener on the exact same floor and they left Ashton Gate disappointed falling apart late after Lewis Boyce was sent to the bin.
The hosts led within two moments through Morahan and revealed ominous form from the, together with giant variety eight Hughes impressing on his league debut and incorporating the next try following the dart of Kiwi Charles Piutau during the Bath defence.
Rhys Priestland’s boot along with Mercer’s attempt gave the visitors a guide, but quick feet and hands in the hosts viewed them recover the benefit.
The Bears, who finished last season, raced off in the second half, adding three attempts in the last 13 minutes.
Toilet, who finished last word and level on points with fourth spot, gave a first Premiership start to wing that fall, Levi Davis, who is starring in ITV’s X Factor Celebrity.
But it was a Bristol kid who had a debut to remember – after coming from the substitutes bench -18-year-old fly-half Lloyd crossed for a try at the night that he became the youngest man to perform in the Premiership for the Bears.
This hotly-anticipated West Country derby saw Ashton Gate’s biggest crowd for a sporting fixture because its redevelopment concluded in 2016, exceeding what Championship football team Bristol City – who share the venue with all the Bears – have managed to achieve because house and away rugby fans are not segregated.
Along with also the 26,399 in attendance were treated to a blistering rugby in the house side.
Having finished only five points off a play-off place term back in the upper grade, 2019-20 has been begun by the Bears with a statement performance that emphasized their ambitions compete to get silverware and to perform Champions Cup soccer.
Bristol Bears: C Piutau; Morahan, O’Conor, Hurrell, Protheroe; Sheedy, Uren; Woolmore, Thacker, Afoa, Attwood, Joyce, Luatua (c), D Thomas, Hughes.
Replacements: Malton, Y Thomas, Lahiff, Vui, Heenan, Randall, Lloyd, Leiua.
Bath: Homer; Brew, Clark, Wright, Davis; Priestland, Chudley; Obano, Dunn, Judge, McNally, Ewels (c), Williams, Ellis, Mercer.
Replacements: Walker, Boyce, Stuart Bayliss Burns, Roberts.
Sin-bin: Boyce (65 mins)