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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sun 27 Oct 2013
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Kingston Park
Referee: Greg Garner
TV Match Official: Keith Lewis
Assistant Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referee: Robin Goodliffe
The Exiles were awarded a penalty with a minute left on the clock to win the game. Unfortunately the ball fell off the tee twice meaning Shane Geraghty had to rush his attempt which fell just under the crossbar.
Ofisa Treviranus and Adam Powell scored the tries for Irish and Falcons respectively but in the end it was a Phil Godman conversion that proved to be the difference.
It was a cold and windy afternoon in the North-East and the elements came into account from the opening kick-off which saw Falcons out half, Rory Clegg, put the ball out on the full.
Brian Smith's charges made a solid start to the game and had plenty of early possession. A mixture of forced and unforced errors however saw his side cough up possession at crucial points.
The first try however was coming and when it did it was very well taken. Rory Clegg had missed a penalty attempt moments earlier and from the resulting 22 re-start Irish went on the charge. They turned over the ball at the line out and worked the Falcons pack up the field. O'Leary, who was captain for the afternoon in the absence of George skivington who missed out with a foot injury, passed to Tagicakibau who broke two tackles before feeding inside to David Paice. Paice showed great composure to draw the last defender and pass to Ofisa Treviranus who had a simple run in. Tagicakibau and Blair Cowan were very prominent in the lead up to the try with two good carries.
The hosts came back at London Irish and although they never looked like crossing for a try, took the lead with two Clegg penalty goals. With only a minute remaining on the clock Chris Hala'ufia carried over the Newcastle try line but was adjudged by refereemGreg Garner to be held up. Ian Humphreys did though put Irish back in front with the straightforward penalty attempt. Irish led 8-6 at the break.
Irish started the second stanza in the ascendancy with their pack winning an early penalty. Humphreys attempt drifted wide of the uprights. Clegg had an opportunity shortly after to put the Falcons back in front, but similarly to Humphreys his attempt when wide.
After an injury delay that saw Topsy Ojo come off, Irish won a second penalty at the set piece, this time the line out, when Ian Gough was dragged down and Humphreys extended his sides lead to five points. with a well struck penalty.
Moving into the final quarter, the Exiles were under a lot of pressure in their own 22. Newcastle were awarded a free kick at the scrum and their pack drove into the heart of the irish defence. After relentless pressure the ball was spun out to Adam Powell who scored under the posts. Phil Godman added the conversion to put his side ahead 13-11.
A nerve wracking finale followed and the game went down to the wire when the Irish pack won a penalty on 79 minutes. Shane Geraghty, who came on for Ian Humphreys, lined up the attempt from 40 metres out, before the ball fell not once, but twice off the tee. This meant Geraghty had to rush his attempt and in the end it fell just under the crossbar.
The Falcons won 13-11 and irish were left pondering what could have been. Irish host Northampton Saints at Madejski Stadium next Sunday.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 5-0, 5-3, 5-6, 8-6, 11-6, 11-13
Scorers: Tries: Treviranus (11); Penalties: Humphreys (39, 56); Falcons: Penalties: Clegg (17, 30); Tries: Powell (65); conversions: Godman
15 Alex Tait; 14 Tom Catterick; 13 Danny Barnes; 12 Adam Powell; 11 Ryan Shortland; 10 Rory Clegg (rep: Phil Godman, 56); 9 Mike Blair; 1 Rob Vickers (rep: Grant Shiels, 56); 2 Scott Lawson (rep: George mcGuigan, 56); 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk (rep: Kieran Brooks, 53); 4 Carlo del Fava; 5 Fraser McKenzie (rep: Will Welch, 62); 6 Dom Barrow; 7 Mark Wilson; 8 Ally Hogg (Captain)
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan; 17 Grant Shiells; 18 Kieran Brookes; 19 Scott MacLeod; 20 Will Welch; 21 Warren Fury; 22 Phil Godman; 23 James Fitzpatrick
15. Topsy Ojo (rep: Guy Armitage, 49); 14. Alex Lewington; 13. Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 10. Ian Humphreys (rep: Shane Geraghty, 73); 9. Tomås O'Leary (Captain) (rep: Darren Allinson, 53); 1. John Yapp (rep: Matt Parr, 53); 2. David Paice; 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Jamie Hagan, 61); 4. Ian Gough; 5. Bryn Evans; 6. Blair Cowan; 7. Ofisa Treviranus; 8. Chris Hala'ufia (rep: Jebb Sinclair, 61)
Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew; 17. Matt Parr; 18. Jamie Hagan; 19. Declan Danaher; 20. Jebb sinclair; 21. Guy Armitage; 22. Shane Geraghty; 23. Darren Allinson
Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 4, 766