London Irish ‘A’ kicked off their Aviva ‘A’ League campaign with a convincing 34 - 8 victory over London Welsh ‘A’ at Hazelwood last night in front of 250 supporters.

Tries from Toby Salmon, Mike Mayhew , Jamie Hagan, James Copsey and Johnny Williams secured the victory for Irish and gave them the perfect start to the season.

The hosts opened the scoring after just nine minutes, the pack looking to assert dominance early on. Irish secured the ball at the line out and rumbled over the line and it was second row Toby Salmon who dotted the ball down to open Irish’s account. Myles Dorrian stepped up to slot the conversion to give Irish an early 7 - 0 lead. 

Irish struck again ten minutes later, this time hooker Mike Mayhew claiming the spoils after another powerful drive from the Exiles pack allowed him to break down the wing and crash over in the corner to make the score 12 - 0 after twenty minutes. 

London Welsh reacted well and tried to wrestle back some dominance up front. A well worked line out provided the platform for Samir Kharbouch to cross the line on the back of a powerful rolling maul.

Welsh continued to build the pressure, forcing Irish into conceding penalties resulting in flanker Ollie Curry being sent to the bin and Will Robinson turned pressure into points from the tee for the visitors to bring the score to 12 - 8 at half-time.

Irish were dominant in the second half, scoring an impressive nineteen unanswered points. Dorrian struck first for the hosts, landing a penalty early on to start the second half rout. 

Jamie Hagan crossed the whitewash soon after for the first of Irish’s three second half tries and Dorrian added the extras to bring the score to 22 - 8. 

Irish added their fourth try of the evening after 65 minutes, James Copsey finishing a well worked team move.

And it was 17 year-old Johnny Williams who capped off a fine performance from Irish, darting in at the corner with five minutes to go. Replacement Theo Brophy-Clews stepped up to take the conversion, making the final score 34 - 8 and finished off a very impressive first outing for the ‘A’ side.

London Irish ‘A’ next face Wasps ‘A’ on Monday 15 September at 19.30 where they will hope to continue their winning start to the season.

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