After the first ever scoreless half of rugby in Heineken Cup history, Bristol moved joint first with Cardiff Blues in Pool Three on Sunday courtesy of a 20-7 win over Harlequins at the Memorial Ground.
The west country side climbed above Stade FranÃ§ais, who lost to Cardiff on Saturday, to ensure a tight battle for a place in the knockout stages of the competition, with a trip to Paris and a home clash with the Blues still to come.
Bristol applied the early pressure with full-back Luke Arscott making a vital break before off-loading to wing David Lemi, but Quins defended well.
Fly-half David Hill had the first real opportunity of getting points on the board for the home side after 24 minutes but his penalty attempt from out wide on the right was off-target, and he hit the crossbar a couple of minutes later from the other side of the pitch.
Hill's opposite number Adrian Jarvis suffered the same fate in the 35th minute
when his angled 30-metre attempt hit the near upright after Bristol were penalised for failing to roll away at the tackle.
Shaun Perry looked to have sparked some life into the game for Bristol shortly before the interval with a 25-metre weaving break through a slack defence but he lacked support at the tackle.
Bristol kept the pressure on before Quins scrum-half Danny Care was yellow-carded for persistent infringement as the game remained scoreless at the interval.
Lemi broke the stalemate five minutes into the second half after Elliott linked up with Rob Higgitt to put the Samoa international clear to score in the corner, but Hill was again off-target with the conversion attempt.
But Quins, still down to 14 men, replied immediately when acting scrum-half Simon Keogh kicked ahead. The ball bounced perfectly for full-back Tom Williams to score with Jarvis to add the extras and give the visitors the lead.
Bristol scored a second try in the 54th minute as the forwards piled over the line with David Blaney, who had been on the pitch for 10 minutes as a replacement for England hooker Mark Regan, claiming the touchdown.
Hill again missed the conversion attempt from out wide but he finally slotted a 25-metre penalty between the uprights to increase the Bristol lead having already cost his side 10 points.
In the closing minutes replacement number eight Andrew Blowers made a break before replacement prop Alex Clarke went over for Bristol's third try which replacement fly-half Jason Strange converted.
Tries: Lemi, Blaney, Winters
Yelow card: Care (40, Harlequins)
Bristol Rugby: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Anthony Elliott, 13 Rob Higgitt, 12 Neil Brew, 11 David Lemi, 10 David Hill, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Joe El Abd, 6 Matt Salter, 5 Sean Hohneck, 4 Roy Winters, 3 Jason Hobson, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Darren Crompton.
Replacements: 16 David Blaney, 17 Alex Clarke, 18 Gareth Llewellyn, 19 Andrew Blowers, 20 Brian O'Riordan, 21 Jason Strange, 22 Sam Cox.
Harlequins: 15 Tom Williams, 14 David Strettle, 13 Haldane Luscombe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Simon Keogh, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Will Skinner (c), 6 Chris Hala'ufia, 5 Nicolas Spanghero, 4 James Percival, 3 Ricky Nebbett, 2 Tani Fuga, 1 Aston Croall.
Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 Jim Evans, 19 Paul Volley, 20 Phil Davies, 21 Steven So'oialo, 22 Tosh Masson.
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
Touch judges: Eric Gauzins (France), Patrick Bellet (France)
Assessor: Brian Leigh (England)