Eight-try Bath boost Challenge Cup quarter-final hopes

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Bath edged closer to qualifying for the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals by triumphing 57-22 in an exhilarating encounter against Pool 4 rivals Bristol.

Todd Blackadder's side went into the match at Ashton Gate on the back of three straight Premiership defeats but ran in eight tries to move five points clear of second-placed Cardiff Blues, who face Pau on Saturday.

Bath led 38-10 at half-time with Tom Dunn, Tom Homer, Robbie Fruean and Kahn Fotuali'i crossing before George Ford raced through a gap in the Bristol line to touch down between the posts, with Tom Varndell scoring Bristol's solitary try of the half.

Ford converted a second try from Fotuali'i to take his individual haul to 20 points, before Semesa Rokoduguni and Chris Cook also put their names on the scoresheet between tries from Rhodri Williams and Jack Tovey for the well-beaten hosts.

Newcastle Falcons' qualifications hopes were dealt a blow as Fabrice Estebanez's 76th-minute try earned Grenoble a 31-27 victory at the Stade des Alpes.

It was the Top 14 side's first win of the campaign and leaves Newcastle third in Pool 2, with first-placed Ospreys' nine-point advantage now unassailable for them.

Newport Gwent Dragons joined Brive on 14 points after a 34-10 bonus-point win over Eniesi-STM but remain second in Pool 3.