A turnover on half-way set them up to double the lead, five minutes later, when Maggs played provider for centre partner Walter Pozzebon to repeat the feat. Both tries were converted and Worcester were suddenly facing a stiff test, not just of their character but the inventiveness and ability that they'd displayed in large measure against Newcastle a month ago.
For much of the half, they lived off scraps from the forwards and, when they did carve out an attacking opportunity, found it difficult to keep possession or make the decisive break, despite captain Greg Evans' willing work.
Jamie Lennard narrowed the gap two minutes before the break with a coolly-struck penalty, but it took the visitors only five minutes of the second period to stretch away again when Pennycook took more quick ball from Hallam, after a tap penalty 15m out, and powered past Lennard's last-ditch tackle.
Three minutes later, Bernadro Stortini swivelled through the last metre of the Worcester defence and added a fourth try.
Academy manager Andrew Stanley replied with three changes, with Ricky Whitehall, Henry Southall and Vince Lanciano replacing Page, Hughes and Lennard. The fresh energy in the forwards paid almost immediate dividends.
Worcester put together their first sustained period of pressure and drove deep into the Bristol half until impressive fly-half Joey Carlisle spotted his chance to dance through to score beneath the posts.
Will Runciman replaced elder brother Nick on 63, and his willingness to run from the base of the scrum put the Bristol loose forwards on the back foot for the first time. Drive after drive pegged Bristol deeper and deeper, and Worcester received their reward when - six minutes after Hallam was sin-binned for going in at the side - Henry Southall drove over from two metres. Carlisle's beautifully-struck conversion made it 18-26, but the comeback had started too late and ran out of time.
"We were disappointed with the first-half performance," Stan said. "We'd expected it to be better, even though Bristol brought a side that contained many players who'd faced Gloucester in the EDF Energy Cup two weeks ago.
"But they stuck at their task, didn't let their heads drop and managed to work their way back into the game. Our boys have set high standards for themselves this season. Thankfully, we've got a game against Exeter on Monday where we have a chance to get it out of our system."
Scoring: 0-7, 0-14, 3-14, 3-21, 3-26, 10-26, 17-26
Warriors scorers: Carlisle (t, c), Southall (t), Lennard (c)
Team: 01 Matt Mullan, 02 Jordan Page (Whitehall 48), 03 Callum Black (Tideswell 65), 04 Manny Samra, 05 Will Bowley, 06 Loti Molatika, 07 David Hughes (Southall 50), 08 Craig Everett, 09 Nick Runciman (Will Runciman 63), 10 Joey Carlisle, 11 Uche Oduoza, 12 Greg Evans (c) (Owens 76), 13 Alex Grove, 14 Martin Freeman, 15 Jamie Lennard (Lanciano 52),
Replacements: 16 Matt Deacon, 17 James Tideswell, 18 Ricky Whitehall, 19 Henry Southall, 20 Will Runciman, 21 Harry Owens, 22 Vince Lanciano, 23 Tim Streather, 24 Charlie Fellowes, 25 Tom Wheatcroft
Referee: Steve Johnson