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Fixture Type: LV= Cup
Match Date: Sun 10 Nov 2013
Kick Off: 15:00
The Fly half kicked five penalties and two conversions in a personal haul of 19 points to see his side home. Shane Geraghty kicked eight points and Tom Fowlie and Alex Lewington crossed for tries in response for the Exiles.
The first half offered little other than small out bursts of imaginative rugby and, the second, only allowed for more disappointment as Irish could make nothing out of the little possession they had.
Rory Clegg was first to get points on the board with a penalty minutes into the game. The former Harlequin missed only one kick in a game that saw him on fire with the boot. Irish had nothing to answer back with. Shane Geraghty put in a massive performance as captain and was the most proactive player in an Irish jersey.
The backs saw very little ball but were impressive when they did. The first try came from a great break partnership between Alex Lewington and Tom Fowlie with the latter doing well to get to the corner.
Minutes later Newcastle were back in the lead. The home side dominated at the break down and were always thirsty for the ball; a feeling that never looked recognisable in the visitors. The first half ended at 16-11.
Newcastle came out determined, as did the visitors, who scored their second try minutes after the re-start. It all came after a great break from Setaimata Sa, who put in a significant bid for the 12 jersey. Andrew Fenby managed to get the ball away with defenders surrounding him to the supporting Lewington. The winger could not be stopped and shrugged off defenders to score under the posts.
Irish had the lead for the first time in the game and things were looking up however Newcastle did not allow that be the case for long. Clegg got them back in front before a Mayhew drove his way over the line. Unfortunately it was the wrong Mayhew for Irish as Mike’s brother Richard crashed over for a try that took the score to 26-18. After the host’s set piece success Irish were reduced to 14 men when Jamie Hagan received a yellow card.
In the final minutes of the game it looked like Irish could make a fight back but history would repeat itself and as soon as referee Darren Gamage awarded Newcastle a penalty, Clegg made no mistake in putting Newcastle into an unreachable eight point lead.
The final minutes saw Irish throwing the kitchen sink at the Falcons in attack; however they were unable to get the break they wanted. It ended Newcastle 29 London Irish 21.
After the game, London Irish Forwards Coach. Glenn Delaney mentioned: "We didn't control the middle of the pitch which allowed Newcastle to get into some unstoppable positions. Their set piece was as strong as we expected it to be, they played on the edge and we didn't.”
Delaney added: "We have a strong platform, we need to build on it now and get our penalty count under control and keep that momentum going.”
London Irish host Northampton Saints at Madejski Stadium next Sunday in Round 2 of the LV=Cup.
Score sequence (Newcastle first): 3-0, 6-0, 6-5, 9-5, 9-8, 9-11, 14-11, 16-11, 16-16, 16-18, 19-18, 24-18, 26-18, 26-21, 29-21
Scorers: Newcastle Falcons: Penalties: Clegg (6, 12, 18, 48, 72); Tries: Fury (34), Mayhew (56); Conversions: Clegg (2); London Irish: Tries: Fowlie (14), Lewington (45); Penalties: Geraghty (19, 28), Dorrian (67); Conversion: Geraghty
15. Tom Catterick; 14. Noah Cato (rep: Tom Penny, 69); 13. Danny Barnes; 12. James Fitzpatrick; 11. Zach Kilbirige; 10. Rory Clegg; 9. Warren Fury; 1. Grant Shiells (rep: Gary Strain, 56); 2. George McGuigan (rep: Scott Lawso,n 56); 3. Kieran Brookes (rep: Scott Wilson, 56); 4. Fraser McKenzie; 5. Scott MacLeod; 6. Richard Mayhew; 7. Will Welch (captan); 8. Chris York
Replacements: 16. Scott Lawson; 17. Gary Strain; 18. Scott Wilson; 19. Glen Young; 20. Harrison Collins; 21. Chris Pilgrim; 22. Joel Hodgson; 23. Tom Penny
15. Alex Lewington; 14. Tom Fowlie; 13. Guy Armitage (rep: Fergus Mulchrone, 49); 12. Setaimata Sa (rep: Myles Dorrian, 61); 11. Andrew Fenby; 10. Shane Geraghty* (captain); 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Matt Parr (rep: Johnny Harris, 72); 2. Mike Mayhew; 3.Jamie Hagan (rep: Leo Halavatau, 65); 4. Ben Toolis; 5. Kieran Low (rep: Ben Lonergan, 72); 6. Declan Danaher; 7. Danny Kenny; 8. Blair Cowan (rep: Bryn Evans, 56)
Replacements: 16. Richard Palframan; 17. Johnny Harris; 18. Leo Halavatau; 19. Bryn Evans*; 20. Ben Lonergan; 21. Fergus Mulchrone; 22. Myles Dorrian; 23. Ed Hoadley
Referee: Darren Gamage